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Buhari to inaugurate Abuja-Kaduna rail line in July

By on June 3, 2016

President Muhammadu Buhari will next month (July) signal the commencement of interstate railway services on the $1bn Abuja-Kaduna rail line project, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said.

According to him, the rail line is set to commence operations, which is why it has to be on trial-run.

But he noted  that some little tasks, like having the rail line fenced on both sides from the beginning to the end had not been completed.

Amaechi, who disclosed this on Wednesday during the official trial run of the rail modernisation project, which connects Abuja and Kaduna State, said, “As for this rail transport, we are good to go. The reason why we are not letting it start now is the fact that we have to consider the religious obligation of the President. But we are looking at the first week of July, because we are good to go.

“In two weeks from now, they (contractors) will put the tracks on trial run without carrying passengers. In another two weeks, they will test-run it with passengers free of charge, and that will take us till the last week of June.

“So, by first week of July, the President will come to inaugurate it for commercial activities. After the inauguration, anyone who boards must pay and that is why I told the Director of Railway and the Managing Director of the Nigeria Railway Corporation to start ensuring that within this one month, they should make sure that people who are going to use the railway have a form of identification.”

The minister stressed that individuals without identification should not border to board the trains and declared that “we will not let you in if we don’t know you.”

He added, “What worries me more is about the rural dwellers and what I think the Ministry of Transportation should do is to work with the Nigerian Identity Management Commission to ensure that in every station, there is an NIMC outlet so that they can do all the registration in one or two weeks.

“This is to ensure that we know who is boarding our train and where he lives for security purposes.”

He stated that the government had ensured that there was insurance package for passengers who board the facility, adding that about 1,000 police officers would provide security for the rail service daily.