By Ezra Ukanwa, Abuja
Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, weekend, expressed 90 per cent readiness over the commencement of the Abuja-Kaduna train services.
The Minister spoke to journalists at the Rigasa train Terminal, in Kaduna shortly after a brief inspection of the Abuja, Idu train station and the Rigasa, Kaduna Terminal respectively.
This was as he backtracked on his previous position to conceal certain security measures taken so far to ensure protection of lives and properties of Abuja-Kaduna train subscribers, following the commencement of the Abuja-Kaduna train services in days.
While fielding questions from journalists, the minister disclosed that the number of daily trips would be reduced, and the use of National Identity Number would be strictly requested as part of strategies to secure passengers.
He stated that the Ministry in partnership with the NRC and other bodies would begin profiling of all train subscribers.
He said moves have been made to beef up the number of security personnel, including deployment of hi-tech security apparatus to boost security.
Also, he disclosed that the cost of train fares would be increased, adding that the resumption of train services is imminent.
He said: “I think we are 90 per cent ready as far as what we are set out to do is concerned. The remaining 10 per cent I am sure would be achieved in the next couple of days for full resumption of train services.
“My assurance to Nigerians is that even I myself will be using the train, and other of my counterparts who have homes in Kaduna, in fact from next week they will start using this train so I am giving Nigerians full assurance that a human being can give that this train is safe for them to be used.
“There is absolutely nothing to fear. We have learnt from what has happened and life is about learning lessons and adopting measures with the lessons. As a responsible government, we have seen those lessons and we have devised appropriate measures to counter it, and like I always say that I was not going to allow this train to resume until everybody in captivity was released and to the glory of God, I have achieved that.
The Minister, however, expressed satisfaction over the infrastructural situation of the Rigasa terminal in Kaduna, adding that more would be done to enhance train services.