Mu’azu Sambo, the Minister of Transportation, has made a new announcement.
He announced Federal Government’s resolve to adopt a 24/7 online monitoring of the Abuja-Kaduna rail corridor.
He said the strategy will ensure the safety of passengers, personnel and assets along the Abuja-Kaduna rail corridor and other rail corridors in the country.
The Minister also said a command centre will be set up for the Abuja-Kaduna rail corridor to monitor the movement of the train.
In addition to that, he said a monitoring device will be installed in the train which will enable the train captain view the rail tracks up to 2 kilometres ahead.
The Minister said this at a meeting with members of the Nigerian Union of Railway Workers in Abuja.
The Minister also promised to push for the implementation of salary enhancement for railway workers across the country.
This was contained in a statement by the Director of Press and Public Relations of the ministry, Henshaw Ogubike.
On the monitoring device to be installed, the Minister expressed optimism that the proposed security plan will be approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
He said: “The proposal was earlier taken to the FEC, but the Council had asked for more clarification and clearance from National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). It will be represented having gotten the necessary clarifications and clearance”.
On the security measures put in place, he said: “To buy a ticket, a passenger would be required to present his National Identification Number (NIN). After ticket purchase, before gaining entrance to the lounge, the passenger would be required to place his ticket on a validator which would display information about the passenger, including his picture. The passenger would only be allowed to board the train after necessary validation and authentication.
“There are going to be armed uniform and plain clothes security operatives onboard the train. Trained police personnel would also be stationed at all the stations along the Abuja-Kaduna corridor.
“A response team would also be put in place, some of whom would be on motorbikes, some in land rovers”.
Responding to the requests by the Railways Workers Association, Muazu promised to look into the issue of the condition of service.
He also directed that a nine-man committee be set up to deliberate on the issue of monetization of staff quarters and come up with acceptable and implementable recommendations.
Speaking earlier, the President of the Nigerian Union of Railway Workers, Comrade Innocent Ajiji urged the minister to find lasting solutions to some problems being faced by members of the Association.
The problems according to Ajiji include; the incessant attacks on the trains, poor condition of service of railway workers, poor remuneration, and the monetization of staff quarters.