Federal government said it would be insensitive to commence the Abuja-Kaduna train services now due to the plight of families whose loved ones kidnapped in the March incident are still in captivity.
Minister of transportation, Mu’azu Sambo disclosed this to State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.
According to him, the government was working to strengthen security surveillance on the Abuja – Kaduna rail tracks before the commencement of operation on the route, about five months after the attacks.
He said, “We cannot recommence the Abuja-Kaduna train services for now because it will be insensitive to the plight of families whose loved ones were kidnapped in the corridor are still in captivity.”
He pointed out that it was unfair to start train services along the route as families of the kidnapped victims continue to be traumatized by their family members who are still in captivity by the terrorists.
Sambo said, “There is a need to have surveillance facilities to monitor the tracks, before the resumption of train services.”
The minister insisted that the government was looking at the best options in terms of the surveillance including concessioning it in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
Mu’azu stressed that it will be impossible to establish a definite time for the resumption of train services along the route.
“If I give a timeline, I’ll be lying to you. It will be insensitive to restart the service if some families weep day and night over their members still in the bush,” he added.
He said the government was mindful of the cost involved but should be able to report definite progress in about a month.
“Aside from the deaths recorded and the kidnapping of over 900 persons, Nigeria had lost locomotives and coaches and rail tracks that will need to be repaired before the takeoff of services,” the minister explained.
Recall that economic pundits have projected that the government has lost over N3 billion since the train services were suspended on the 28th of March, 2022, following the attacks.