CEM REPORT | The Federal Government has dismissed the possibility of resuming operations on the Abuja-Kaduna train service saying it will be insensitive as families were still traumatized over their loved ones who are still being held captives by terrorists from an attack that occurred on the train service.
The Minister of Transportation, Muazu Sambo, made the comment while addressing journalists after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, held in the State House.
“For goodness sake, wouldn’t it be insensitive of us to resume these services, even if security surveillance was in place, as long as some citizens of this country spend days and nights weeping over their loved ones that are held in the bush”.
He added that several issues trail the resumption of the service which the federal government is working continuously to resolve noting that the major issue to resuming the service is surveillance.
“Two, we need to have a surveillance and monitoring system on the rail track that would ensure that such incidents never happen again. So, we are pursuing these two things at the same time, trying to get the victims of the kidnap released and at the same time looking for the best solution in terms of surveillance.
“We are looking at so many options, we want to go for the best one, a sustainable one and don’t forget, ultimately, whatever we have as a template between Abuja and Kaduna, that succeeds, would also serve the thousands of kilometres of rail lines across the country. I think this is as much as I will give.”
He explained that the ministry is considering technology-based solutions through a public-private partnership.
He added that all plans should be concluded within the next 30 days.
“If I give you a timeline now, I’ll be lying to you, but I can tell you one thing, we are working day and night. We are looking at solutions that are technology-based and you know technology changes every day.
“There is a solution that the Kano State government has employed for the Felgore Forest, sanctioned by the DSS, we are looking at that. We are also mindful of costs. Now, if for example, you’re going to spend between N3 billion and N9 billion naira, just to provide surveillance or monitoring system along the Abuja-Kaduna rail line alone, how much is the government going to spend for the entire country?
“So, we are also looking at the PPP options. For example, there are notable companies that have solved this thing outside this jurisdiction, where we give them the right of way, the infrastructure and the personnel and then we pay as we go, which is a more attractive option for me I think the direct answer to your question, maybe in another one month, we should be back to you with a solution.”