Insecurity: NRC suspends Lagos-Kano train services

Ibadan-Lagos train service

Ibadan-Lagos train service

File

Due to fear of terrorist attacks, the Lagos-Kano and Ajaokuta train services have been put on hold by the Nigeria Railway Corporation.

According to The Punch, sources in the Ministry of Transportation and the NRC confirmed that the train services would not resume until the security along the Lagos-Kano route and the Ajaokuta train station was guaranteed.

Due to the attack by gunmen on some passengers on Monday, the Ajaokuta station along the Warri-Itakpe route was also suspended.

For the Lagos-Kano train services, the suspension followed the heightened level of insecurity in Niger and Kaduna states, which are the routes of the train heading to Kano from Lagos.

The NRC Managing Director, Fidet Okhiria, confirmed the suspension of the train services at the Ajaokuta station and the Lagos-Kano route to on Tuesday.

Speaking on the services along the Warri-Itakpe route, he stated, “We have not stopped (services), rather what we said was that we are not going to be stopping at the Ajaokuta station.

“This is because yesterday (Monday), while passengers were leaving the station with their private cars and buses, they had people shooting at them. So we said we will not stop there again for passengers.

“The train is still running, but for now we will not be stopping at Ajaokuta because they have some concerns there. We heard that they removed their traditional ruler in that location and the local government chairman there.”

According to him, apart from the Abuja-Kaduna route, the corporation had also suspended services on the Lagos-Kano route because of security concerns.

Asked if there was any other train service that was not operating aside from the Abuja-Kaduna service, the NRC boss said, “No, apart from the Lagos to Kano (train service) because the Kaduna route is affected by the activities of bandits; and it (Lagos-Kano route) was stopped because we have to pass through Minna and Kaduna when heading to Kano. So we have to stop it for now.”

The Federal Government on August 13, 2021, resumed the operations of the Lagos-Kano train service.

The Regional District Manager, Northern District of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mr Ismail Adebiyi, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria on August 8.

In March, this year, the corporation denied reports that it had suspended the Lagos-Kano train service after a derailment in Jebba, Kwara State in February.

Okhiria, however, stated that the Federal Government had improved the security on the trains, adding that more men from the police and civil defence were being deployed to protect the facilities.

“We have asked them to intensify security by giving us more policemen and civil defence officers,” he stated.

According to him, the Lagos-Ibadan train service was still running, adding that other services aside from the Abuja-Kaduna and Lagos-Kano services were also operating.

After the bombing of the Abuja-Kaduna train, the government adopted some measures to boost security on the train services.

In April, the NRC announced that beginning from May this year, it would start linking the profiles of its train passengers with their National Identification Numbers.

Also in April, the government directed the corporation to hand over tickets and passengers’ identification to Secure ID, the company in charge of the e-ticketing platform for the Abuja-Kaduna rail service.

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