Resumption of the Abuja-Kaduna train service is greeted by a low passenger turnout.
After being suspended for eight months as a result of a terrorist attack, the Federal Government confirmed through the Ministry of Transportation that train service between Abuja and Kaduna would resume on Monday, December 5, 2022.
The Guardian said that although there were few people at the Idu train station as of 10 am, those who were there were well-behaved in the line as armed police and other security personnel were visible stationed across the area.
The first train from Abuja to Rigasa in Kaduna was set to depart at 9:45 am, and passengers were seen hauling luggage and making their way to the ticket office to get boarding passes.
The return of the train service excited one of the passengers at the Idu train station, Hajia Aisha Gobir, who claimed that traveling by road from Abuja to Kaduna is extremely difficult.
She demanded a Business class ticket because she was the first person to arrive at the railway station.
She claimed that she booked the train via an internet app and that so far, there have been no problems.
Unanah John, a different traveler, claimed to have experienced problems with the National Identification Number (NIN) since he purchased a ticket via the app using his Glo line while the NIN line was registered with his MTN line.
He claimed that changing the number on the app is not permitted, which was the issue he was trying to resolve.
Akin Osinowo, Deputy Director of Operations for Nigerian Railway Cooperation (NRC), added that the Federal Ministry of Transportation had to ensure the safety of passengers before the train service could resume.
“I think we have reached that place now,” he said, “which is why we are continuing today. We have undergone a lot of background laborious work in terms of security
“At the moment, the service has eyes and ears everywhere along the corridor and in the terminals, and our rail lines are well safeguarded. We also keep in touch with our train whenever it is in motion.
We are really confident in ourselves.
“The rise in prices is a global phenomena; the cost of running the service has increased as much as the price of diesel, which has increased by 300–400%, for example.
“However, even if the service is extensively subsidized by the government, it is still competitive when you consider the comfort and safety, among other factors.
In order to ensure and protect the lives of passengers, we are just now reopening after a lengthy closure. As such, we are putting in place numerous protocols, security measures, operating systems, and other technologies.
To ensure and safeguard the lives of passengers, we want to make sure they are functioning properly.
During the holiday season, he said, “We hope to increase our services because we know it will take some time for passengers to believe in us again.”