President Muhammed Buhari is to commission the 187 kilometers Abuja-Kaduna railway line in the first week of July, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi has said.
Briefing transport correspondents yesterday in Abuja after the completion of first test run of the rail line from Idu to Kubwa, the minister who commended work done on the project, stated that all is now set for its official commissioning by the President.
The minister who described the project as very timely, coming at a time when commuters are in dire need of supplementary means of public transportation, also said that efforts are currently on between the transport ministry and the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to determine the fares for the train ride.
“I believe the project is good to go. Hopefully, the President will commission it by the first week of July,” the minister said.
As part of measures to ensure security of lives and property in and around the train stations, the minister said only passengers whose identities have been certified will be allowed to ride on the railway, adding that national identities, drivers licence or international passports will be required before boarding is allowed.
He also noted that efforts are on to secure at least 1,000 police personnel in and around the stop stations and corridor, to ensure safety of passengers and luggage.
“Passengers will be required to present their identification cards at all times before they can be allowed to take a ride. We have to know who and who is taking a train ride and where they are headed. So identities such as drivers licence, national identity card or valid passport will be required for clearance.
On plans to convey passengers from the city centre to the Idu take-off station, Amaechi said that the rail department in the ministry has been mandated to come up with a plan to provide shuttle services for passengers in conjunction with the NRC.
Acting Managing Director of NRC, Fidet Okhiria, in his remark said efforts are on to acquire more coaches. He said the coaches will be insured on third party insurance plan, adding that the conveyance of passengers will be enhanced when the Abuja metro line commenced next year.