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Insecurity: Minister Assures Passengers of Improved, Digitized Security



Insecurity: Minister Assures Passengers of Improved, Digitized Security

Rotimi Amaechi

Minister of Transportation Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, has reassured Nigerians that there would be improved security on the Abuja-Kaduna train route to douse the insecurity scare of intending passengers.

He added that plans were on the way to digitalize security on the nation’s railway facilities.

Amaechi gave the assurance during an unscheduled assessment tour of the train service tracks within Dutse and Rijana to ascertain the level of damage caused on the rail tracks after it was attacked by bandits who used explosives to detonate the tracks on Wednesday evening.

“We want to assure the public that beyond the physical presence of Police and the Military along this track, we will get a rail bus for patrol regularly so that we can see what is happening even before the train takes off, and it will be end to end. Apart from this, there has not been any security challenges on this track. What this has done to us is that we would fasten the procurement process of the digital security system that we planned to put in place. It has gone to the Cabinet two weeks ago and it has returned. So, we’ll re-present it to Cabinet to ensure that we get approval for the installation.

“The essence of the digital security system is to enable us to know when there’s an impact on the rail to forestall this kind of attack. We will get the Police involved so that they will be here before the installation of the digital facility”,he said.

Amaechi further noted that, although he may not be happy that the attack took place, the efforts being put in place by the Engineers repairing the tracks is a pointer to the fact that Nigerian Engineers are now capable of constructing their own railway.

According to him, “I am not happy that the security breach took place but what it has done is to show that we actually have the capacity to fix our rail . The essence of this is to make sure that by the time the Chinese leaves we should start the gradual process of constructing our own railway. The repair was done by our own Nigerian Engineers in record time and by tomorrow (Saturday) we will run the first train.”

Insecurity: Minister Assures Passengers of Improved, Digitized Security

In a similar vain, the Managing Director of Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Engineer Fidet Okhiria, noted that the Police, DSS and other security apparatus are now fully involved in safe guarding rail facilities from further attacks.

He said: “The Commission of Police, DSS are now going to be fully involved. The minster spoke about inntroducing technology and we have an active responsive team that would respond to the information that would be provided by the technology.”

He further urged Nigerians to stay firm and not be scared so as not to give people who don’t don’t wish Nigeria well will not succeed.

Okhiria stressed that, “I believe that when we restart we would start with 8trips when we come back tomorrow maybe tomorrow we may run 4trips but Sunday 8trips because Sunday is a busy day. So tomorrow we are running four trips so that we can run from Abuja to kaduna and balance the train set while we are working on the loco that were affected.

“It is better to run more trains as running more trains would not give people the opportunity to interfere with the tracts, because a train just passed from Abuja to kaduna not quite 30mins when the explosion were executed and planted. And if we have all trains , the people would have to work very hard to be able to plant explosives.”

Mr Pascal Nnoli, AKT Station Manager also affirmed that the challenge caused by the explosion has been surmounted, and personal, mechanical equipment staff and all other staff are on ground to commence the train service tomorrow.

“The only thing that we are still going to address is the locomotive that was affected and already my men are working on that. If you go to idu now they have dropped most of the components that were affected under it. Having said that it just the windscreen and the painting that is remaining. We are said to go full blown starting tomorrow, but we would not run full service as it might be affected.”

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