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Transport minister talks tough on Idu train terminal management

The new Minister of Transport, Saidu Ahmed Alkali, Sunday, read the riot act to the management of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) over the condition…

The new Minister of Transport, Saidu Ahmed Alkali, Sunday, read the riot act to the management of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) over the condition of the Idu train terminal in Abuja.

He expressed dissatisfaction with the station’s condition during an unscheduled visit to the facility.

The Idu train terminal is a world-standard train station meant for inter-state transportation. While it now links Abuja, the FCT, with Kaduna, there is an ongoing project to extend the rail track to Kano, all to link many states for ease of economic and social activities.

The Idu station also has supporting infrastructures such as roads linking the station to Abuja city centre and an extension to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

Alkali during the visit decried the poor condition of the train coaches and toilet facilities which he said are not working.

The minister also lamented the owed allowances of security escorts and other lower cadre staff of the NRC spanning months and directed prompt action to settle them.

He said, “I received a complaint from the security escorts that in the last five months, their allowances were not paid and I am happy that the managing director of the NRC is appearing before the ministry to brief.

“I am well informed that the lift and escalators aren’t working; this makes it very difficult for the elderly and disabled persons to travel by train. Therefore, he would explain why disciplinary action would not be taken against him.

“I’ll make sure that we fix the escalators in the next 48 hours and the lift will also be working in two days,” he said.

The minister also assured the security escorts and cleaners that their allowances would be paid within two days for effective service delivery, while also saying travellers would soon see a difference in the way railway transportation would be managed as obtained in other developed societies.

He said he would strengthen collaboration with the military high authorities to beef up security in all the trains’ routes.

 

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