- The federal government has ordered two additional coaches for the Abuja-Kaduna rail service
- The minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has warned that staff caught in illegal sales of tickets would be arrested and prosecuted accordingly
- Amaechi also disclosed that there are plans to purchase new coaches and locomotives from China for the Lagos-Ibadan route
The federal government has ordered two additional coaches for the Abuja-Kaduna rail service route to solve the passengers upsurge.
Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, gave the directive on Monday, April 8 during the monthly inspection of the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan rail line at Ologueru, Ibadan, NAN reports.
Legit.ng gathers that there was an upsurge of passengers on the Abuja-Kaduna train service due to the activities of kidnappers along the Abuja-Kaduna road.
Amaechi said the Nigerian Railway Corporation would move two additional coaches from Itakpe-Warri rail lines to that route.
He also warned that staff caught in illegal sales of tickets would be arrested and prosecuted accordingly.
“We are going there to arrest anyone caught up with tickets racketeering. The long queue at that axis is because coaches are not enough.
“The reason we bought those coaches was for people to sit down. But people are standing; they shouldn’t stand.
“But, I have directed that we should move two coaches from Itakpe-Warri to Kaduna-Abuja. Today is the first day that I will be giving this directive.
“The first directive I gave was to move two coaches from Itakpe-Warri to Lagos. When we saw the problem today, I told the MD to move two coaches to Kaduna from Itakpe-Warri because, there are no much passengers in that axis,” he said.
Amaechi stated that it would be difficult to manage and control passengers standing in the train because of the upsurge.
“The long term plan is that we are going to China between 24th and 30th to inspect the new coaches and locomotives we are buying for Lagos-Ibadan.
“We may be under pressure to put that on the Abuja-Kaduna route and if we do that, that would reduce the pressure at the moment. When there are more coaches and locomotives, the pressure will cool down,” he said.
Amaechi, said that until there is a connection between Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri to Lokoja and Abuja, that is when more passengers would use the train on that axis.
He said: “The plan is on for the connectivity from Warri-Itakpe-Lokoja and we are talking to someone who wants to build a park at Itakpe to carry passengers by road to Abuja, pending when we get approval and funding to link Abuja to Itakpe.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Rotimi Amaechi blamed the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) for the slow pace of work at the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line.
Amaechi expressed disappointment on the progress of work done so far, while inspecting the project on Monday, April 8.
The minister chided the contractor for slowing down work and track-laying from Distance Kilometre (DK) 121 to 157 of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line project.
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