22nd October, 2021
By Lucy Ogalue
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Friday directed that Abuja-Kaduna Train Service (AKTS) should resume operations on Saturday.
Amaechi gave the directive after inspecting repairs on the rail tracks between Rijana and Dutse along the route on Friday.
The minister then assured the public of Federal Government’s commitment to ensure safety of passengers along the route.
”I think what is significant is that the repair was done by our own Nigerian engineers and completed in record time.
”By tomorrow we expect to run the first train. That is why I had to come here myself physically to be present here.
” We want to assure the public that beyond the physical presence of police and deployment of the military along this track.
”I just told the MD to get us a rail bus that will be on patrol regularly on the track so that we can see what is going to happen even before the train takes off.
” That will be the measure we will put in place until we put a digital system in place. And it will be end to end from Abuja-Kaduna and it will the same thing for Lagos-Ibadan,” he said.
Amaechi noted that the incident that happened would fasten the procurement process of the Digital Security System which the government planned to install on the track.
”It went to cabinet two weeks ago and it was returned so, we will re-present it to cabinet to ensure that we get approval , then we can install the digital security network.
”The essence of the digital security system is to enable us know when there is an impact on the rail. It has a sensor, when people walk across the rail we will be able to know.
”We will get the police to be involved so that they will be here before we install the security system,” he said.
The minister said the country has capable engineers who could fix the rail system.
” I am happy. What this has done is that It has shown that we actually have the capacity to fix our rail.
”The essence of this is to make sure that by the time you leave, we should start gradual process of constructing our own railway.
”You can see the lady engineer. Since she can fix that, she and her colleagues will be able to do more kilometers of track laying and possibly track construction,”he said.
The NRC on Thursday suspended indefinitely service operations along the Abuja-Kaduna route due to explosion of the track along the route.
The explosion damaged the tracks between the Rijana-Dutse axis.