Nigeria will take delivery of 12 additional coaches in July this year to ameliorate the sufferings of passengers plying the Abuja-Kaduna Rail Line.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, Gbenga Ashafa (APC, Lagos) stated this while contributing to a motion moved by Ali Ndume (APC, Borno) on the floor of the Senate on the need for the Federal Government to deploy more coaches to the rail line due to the influx of passengers.
The coaches, the lawmakers revealed, will be delivered from China, adding that while Nigeria has paid for 64 coaches, only 12 will be delivered by July.
“I just came back from China and our trip was initiated as a result of this pressure on the rail transportation module. We went there to look at what was delaying the number of coaches that we had already paid for. We have paid for 64 coaches. And during our visit to all these factories, we discovered that only 12 coaches will be ready to be brought back to Nigeria. There is additional pressure on our contractors. Our main problem is funding. If we are able to fund, we will be able to have enough locomotives and coaches.
“We are expecting additional 12 passenger coaches to arrive in the next eight weeks. I can’t promise you anything less than that but in the next eight weeks, additional 12 coaches will arrive and that will ameliorate the problems of Kaduna-Abuja rail line. But in the meantime, we have to make do with the intervention coming from Itakpe coming in to carry passengers,” he told his colleagues on the floor of the Senate.
BusinessDay reports that the orgy of kidnapping has made major national roads especially in the North West impassable.
The Abuja/Kaduna road is one major road that has been affected, as travellers have abandoned the ever busy highway following incessant kidnappings in preference for rail transport.
The lawmaker, however, disclosed that in the interim, the Ministry of Transportation has commenced the process of redeploying three coaches from the less busy Warri-Itakpe Rail Line to the Kaduna-Abuja Rail Line.