The Federal Government has revealed that the Abuja-Kaduna rail corridor will resume when all the kidnapped victims from Ak-9 train are reunited with their families, as it plans to deploy the best digital security on the nation’s trains.
The Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Sambo disclosed this when he embarked on an inspection tour of the Idu and Kubwa train stations in Abuja.
Sambo explained that resuming operations without rescuing those kidnapped will make Nigerians perceive the government as insensitive.
Train service along the corridor was suspended by the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) after an attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train on March 28, 2022.
On when the service is likely to resume, he said: “It is very important to get those Nigerians that have been kidnapped reunited with their families, otherwise it will appear the government is not sensitive whereas the government is not only sensitive but doing everything it can to make sure that those who have been affected are reunited with their families.
“Secondly, we must put in place adequate security and infrastructural measures to protect and prevent all forms of threats that are possible and leave what you cannot do to God but everything humanly possible must be put in place to ensure that a reoccurrence is automatically eliminated.
“Technology can make that possible and we are trying to deploy the best technology available anywhere in the world that has served very well in other jurisdictions in Nigeria which we believe can also serve us very well.
“We are in the process of procuring the sensors and that is why I said we must ensure that we put in place every infrastructure that will ensure that lives are safeguarded. So, the technology that is going to be deployed is such that you can perceive a threat and eliminate it before you get to the location; that is being proactive.
“The best way to travel, as far as I am concerned, is by train and, by the grace of God, we will make sure these services resume but not until those things I mentioned have been achieved; Rescue or reunion of those that have been kidnapped with their families and [a technology] put in place to ensure that threats to lives are eliminated,” he added.
The minister was accompanied on the inspection tour by the Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye; the permanent secretary, transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani; the chief of staff to the minister, Dr. Abubakar Dantsoho; the managing director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Engr. Fidet Okhira; the director, rail transport services, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Engr. Jimoh Yusuf amongst other management staff from the ministry and the corporation.