By Theodore Opara, LAGOS
The Managing Director of Nigeria Railways Corporation, Fidet Okhiria, said yesterday that there was no insurance cover for passengers on its train services across the country.
He also disclosed that the suspension of the Abuja-Kaduna train service in the last five months had cost the corporation N531 million in revenue loss.
Okhiria, who stated this at a quarterly press briefing of the corporation in Lagos, said the train passengers killed and held captive by terrorists during the attack on the Abuja-Kaduna rail would not receive any compensation from the insurance company.
He maintained that “although the corporation had an insurance policy for both rolling stock and train passengers, it did not cover banditry and terrorism.
Although the NRC MD said the corporation had restored the damaged rolling stock and fixed the track, the train service would not resume without the safe release of the remaining passengers held hostage.
He said four railway workers were among those still being held captive.
He said: “We believe proper security measures should be put in place. The government has set up a committee to ensure maximum security for both train passengers and facilities during operations.
“The Minister of Transportation is leading the struggle for the safe release of those still in captivity. We could not go with force to ensure no one loses his or her life.”
Okhiria said the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge train was running four trips daily, just as the other regular train services including the Warri-Itakpe line.
“Lagos-Ibadan train service has not stopped running one day. It operates four daily trips. The Itakpe-Warri line runs two trains a day,” he said.
On the loss of revenue on the Abuja-Kaduna route, he explained that the N531 million represented what could have been made through ticket sales for the standard gauge passenger train, which was attacked by terrorists about six months ago.