Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has said that the $1.04 billion Abuja-Kaduna rail line will need about 1,000 Policemen to provide security daily.
He said this on Wednesday during the official trial run of the rail modernisation project.
We need about 1,000 policemen to secure Abuja-Kaduna rail and we are getting the policemen from the Nigerian Police Force to secure the rail-line, to ensure that everybody is safe, from Idu station to Kaduna and Kaduna station to Idu on a daily basis.
Everybody will be protected in and out of the train. The reason we may delay a while is because we have to take into consideration the religious obligation of Mr. President so that we are able to bring him to flag off for commercial activities by first week of July, 2016.” Vanguard quoted him as saying.
The minister also said that President Muhammadu Buhari will inaugurate the rail line by the first week of July.
“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.
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.” PUNCH quoted him as saying.
Photo Credit: NAN PHOTO