Following the high rate of kidnapping along the Abuja-Kaduna expressway, most Nigerians have turned to the railway as a safer means of transportation between the northern state and the Federal Capital Territory.
This has, however, caused undue pressure on existing facilities at the railway in addition to the loss of time at both stations.
Nigerians willing to use this service are now meant to queue up for hours before boarding, due to the increase in demand.
To this end, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has ordered that two additional coaches be added to the existing ones to ease the movement of persons and goods from Abuja to Kaduna.
Addressing journalists while inspecting the Lagos-Ibadan rail project on Monday, April 9, 2019, Amaechi said the the coaches would be sourced from the Itakpe-Warri railway.
“The queue is because the coaches are not enough; people are standing,” Amaechi said. “The reason for which we bought those coaches was for people to sit down.
“When we saw the problem today, I directed the MD to move two coaches from Itakpe-Warri to Abuja because there will not be too many passengers from Itakpe-Warri until there is a connection from Itakpe- Lokoja and Itakpe-Abuja, the usage of Itakpe-Warri will be low.
”On a long term, we’re going to China to inspect the new coaches and locomotives that we are buying for Lagos-Ibadan. We may be under pressure to borrow from Lagos-Ibadan and put on the Kaduna-Abuja. If there are more coaches and locomotives, the pressure will reduce,” he added.
The Minister noted that plans are underway to deploy policemen to train stations in order to curb sharp practices by some officials.
“We also discovered that some people will buy tickets and resell to the public. We’re going there. We’ll put policemen there to arrest them,” Amaechi announced.
While expressing satisfaction with the progress of work on the Lagos-Ibadan rail project, Amaechi urged the contractors to speed up work on the Ibadan-Abeokuta section before the rainy season.