The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, said Abuja-Kaduna railway lines will be ready to be commissioned next month by President Muhammadu Buhari. Speaking on Wednesday during the first official test-run of the rail modernization,the minister said the project was ready and would commence full commercial operations once the president inaugurated it.
“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 president’s several engagement and religious obligation.
“We are looking at bringing Mr. President to commission in July. In two weeks time, they will do the test run of the track without passengers, after that two weeks, it will take another two weeks to do test run with passengers and it will be free of charge and that will take us to the end of June. This means by first week in July, we believe that the President will come and flag it off for commercial service.
“At the beginning we had done the test run but then it wasn’t completed. Today it has been completed. So today is the first test run that we are doing on the completed standard gauge. The signaling, communication, stations are all completed now so you can actually technically say today is the first day of test running the completed project.”
The Minister added that the government would commence the fencing of the rail tracks once the fund for the project is released, noting that this was also part of the security measures put in place to protect the facility.
He also said the government was working on insurance packages for passengers who board the facility and that about 1,000 police officers would provide security for the rail service daily. He further stated that his ministry would partner with the Nigeria Identity Management Authority to ensure smooth registration of passengers without hitches.