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Passengers’ apathy greets resumption of Kaduna-Abuja train service

Passengers at the Rigasa Train Station in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State were excited over the resumption of the Kaduna-Abuja train service eight…

Passengers at the Rigasa Train Station in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State were excited over the resumption of the Kaduna-Abuja train service eight months after it was temporarily closed.

Recall that the train service was shut down following a terrorist attack, which left nine killed and over 60 kidnapped. They have all regained their freedom.

Our correspondent who was at the station on Monday observed that a number of security personnel were on the ground while extra security checks had been put in place.

Daily Trust reports that there was also a large crowd of passengers, who besieged the station en route to the nation’s capital.

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A cross-section of passengers, who spoke to our correspondent, expressed excitement over the resumption of the service.

For Paul Anabe, the resumption of the train service is a welcome development saying, “It is very glad to have the trains back, and with the resumption of the train, it shows that the government is doing the right thing and giving the passengers an ease of life when taking people to Abuja.”

On the new ticket fares, he said: “I easily accessed the tickets online through a seamless process and there are some security features that have been included such as the National Identity Number (NIN), at least the train is better than the road journey in terms of comfort, security and accidents.”

Another passenger, Malam Umar Waziri said, “I think the improvement is very comforting, you see a lot of security men that are very vigilant, so that is very comforting for the passengers knowing that there is nothing to fear from the government generally. We are grateful to the government for the steps taken.”

On his part, Dr. Awo Theophilus said, “I am very excited that that train has resumed, especially for people like me who commute Kaduna to Abuja on a weekly basis.”

He implored the government to deploy other security measures like the use of drones to monitor and provide surveillance for passengers.

Passengers’ apathy greets resumption of Abuja-Kaduna train service

Our Correspondent who witnessed the commencement of the train services on Monday at the Idu and Kubwa terminals reports low turnout of passengers.

Few passengers came to access the train services at the Idu, Abuja train station.

The few passengers who came to the train station to travel were seen purchasing tickets at the ticketing booths.

Only intending passengers who have the national identity number (NIN) were issued tickets and allowed to board the train.

Our correspondent also observed increased security personnel at the train station. 

Additional personnel of the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were seen providing security in addition to the private security company engaged by the Nigerian Railway Corporation.

Some passengers couldn’t purchase tickets online because their NIN couldn’t be authenticated on the NRC ticket booking App. 

Some passengers who spoke to our correspondent said the high ticket costs and the security uncertainty in spite of the assurances of the Minister of Transportation, Alh. Mua’zu Jaji Sambo, may be responsible for the low turnout.

A passenger, Mr. Nurudeen Abdallah, who used the train from Kaduna to Abuja said there were few passengers on board the train. 

He also said he saw improvements in the security presence on the train even as he expressed satisfaction with the security measures.

Another passenger, Musa Abdullahi said the cost review is also a concern as travellers weren’t prepared for it.

He said the best way would have been to operate the old rates for a while and when passenger traffic picks up again, the train ticket fare can also be increased.

On safety, he said, he is confident the trains will be safer now compared to before and he has no fears. 

Some passengers who spoke to our correspondent at Jabi Motor Park in Abuja said the train service is rather cumbersome considering the time and the cost required to first travel to the train station before commencing your journey.

Abdullahi Usman said: “I pay N1500 for a taxi to take me to Rigasa in Kaduna before paying another N4000 for the train ticket whereas the transport fare from Kaduna is just N3500.

“I use to endure it because of the porous security situation and the deplorable condition of the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway.”


By Chris Agabi & Maryam Ahmadu-Suka (Kaduna)