• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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BusinessDay

Why we can’t resume Abuja-Kaduna train service now – FG

Edo train attack: last captives freed, 2 village chiefs, 7 others arrested

The Federal Government, on Wednesday, said it was working to strengthen security surveillance on the Abuja-Kaduna rail tracks before the commencement of rail services on the route, about five months after the terrorists’ attack.

BusinessDay gathered that over N3 billion has been lost since the train service was halted on March 28, 2022, following the terrorists’ attack which led to loss of lives and abduction of some passengers.

Recall that terrorists had attacked the train conveying passengers to Kaduna from Abuja, and abducted some on board. Some of the abducted passengers have been released while others are still being held by the terrorists, who have made close to N1 billion from ransom paid by the abductees to regain their freedom.

Mu’Azu Sambo, minister of transportation, who fielded questions from State House journalists on the resumption of the Abuja-Kaduna train service, said operation will remain suspended because it will be insensitive to the plight of families whose loved ones are still in captivity.

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He also added that “there is a need to have surveillance facilities to monitor the tracks, before the resumption of train service”

The minister said the government was looking at the best options in terms of the surveillance, including concessioning it in a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement.

Mu’Azu stated that it will be impossible to establish a definite time for the resumption of train service along the route

“If I give a timeline, I’ll be lying to you. It will be insensitive to restart the service if some families weep day and night over their members still in the bush.”

He said the government was mindful of the cost involved but should be able to report definite progress in about a month.

Asides from the deaths recorded and the abduction of passengers, Nigeria had lost locomotives, coaches, and rail tracks that will need to be repaired before the resumption of service on the Abuja-Kaduna rail system.