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How train-attack could have been averted— Amaechi

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How train-attack could have been averted--- Amaechi

Rotimi Amaechi

The Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has said the Nigerian government would have averted the terrorist attack that occurred on the Abuja-Kaduna rail tract on the night of Monday if approval had been given for the procurement high technology security equipment worth N3billion.

Amaechi stated this when he went to inspect the site of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack in company of the Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Ruqayyah Saraki and the Minister for Police Affairs, Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi.

The Minister while expressing his devastation said, “If those items were here, drones alone will tell you that there are people around the rail tracks because there are drones, there are equipment pick sensors if you touch the track  but unfortunately the process has not been able to get us that approval for us to import those items.

“So for me, I am devastated and I honestly don’t know what to tell Nigerians anymore. The cameras in the train cannot pick what is happening outside.

“What you need is a camera that shows 100 metres away from the train, there are unknown things carrying gun. Then, we can take precaution but we have done all we need to do in the ministry of transport and we have forward to them for approval but we have not gotten approval.” said Amaechi

Amaechi reiterate the availability of patrol vehicles but noted that they cannot reach everywhere. For the areas the patrol can patrol, it will forestall.

He also said the ministry is thinking about the possibility of employing natives until we the approval for the procurement of the necessary equipment is given.

“We also need helicopters, beyond the drones, we need helicopters.

“The Kaduna state government has advised that we stop it but on whether there is a need, there is a need because there are those who work in Abuja and go back home in Kaduna, so we have to porvide those service but if it is going to make us loose lives, we may have to stop it but I don’t think that is the solution.

How train-attack could have been averted--- Amaechi

“The solution is not in running away from the militants or the bandits. The solution is providing the technology that lets you know that they are around. If it lets you know that you are around, there are two actions to take; either for the security men to go after them or you don’t ply within that period but the agencies that need to give us approval have to give us the approval because we need to purchase those items.

” No matter the cost, you cannot equate it with the eight lives that were lost. The equipment were just N3billion and we are about to place order for the one in Lagos but we need to know what is happening on the track, it is everywhere in the world.

“The ministry of transport has finsihed everything, the other agencies are not under me,” disclosed Amaechi

Speakimg on the perimetre fencing, the Minister revealed that, “The man was doing it but he was not paid and even for areas that have the fencing, they are being demolished and it is high enough to protect one from criminals, it is just for cows.

“What we need is technology that lets you know that there are human activities or foreign activities on the track, that way, you can secure the locomotive and secure lives and i had warned earlier that it is important they get us this approval because human lives would be involved. Since that warning till today, we have had two incident.

“What kind of due process is that? When i say due porcess, it does not necessarily mean BPP but whatever agency it is, they need to get us approval so that we can get out of cabinet.

“Even if they get us approval, it will take some months to acquire them from overseas to install them. We need to do that to enable us see from Kaduna-Abuja, Itakpe-Warri and from Lagos-Ibadna what is going on so that we dont continue to lose lives because lives are important. If we dont do that, more persons will die. The cost was about N3billion and the damage here is more than N3billion. So, if we had gotten the approval, we would have saved the N3billion and saved lives.”

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