On Sunday, the Minister of Transportation Mua’zu Sambo announced that the federal government would be reopening the Abuja-Kaduna rail track for travel by next week. The announcement is coming exactly eight months after the tragic attack on the rail line by terrorists.
Why it matters
Nigerians had adopted railway travel as their preferred means of transportation due to its affordability and convenience. But with the recent incident that left many dead and others kidnapped, it is unsure what reactions Nigerians would have to the reopening of this particular rail track.
- In the meantime, data shows that Nigerians cut down railway transportation around the country as the number of train passengers in Q2 2022 was 422,393, while the number of passengers in Q1 2022 was 953,099.
- Consequently, revenue generated by the federal government from passengers cut from N2,077, 836,686 in the Q1 2022 to N598,736,300 in the Q2 2022.
In case you missed it
- On the evening of March 28th, bandits attacked a passenger train carrying 362 people along the Abuja-Kaduna rail track in Northern Nigeria.
- Reports say that in this attack, bandits abducted 61 people while killing 8 passengers and injuring others. This attack also damaged the train and rail tracks of the Abuja-Kaduna rail line.
- At the time of this report, the terrorists had released all the kidnapped victims.
- Since that time, the federal government of Nigeria has improved the rail lines infrastructure, passed extra measures to avoid the repetition of such sad events and beefed-up security at the several train stations all over the country.
The big picture
To curb the repeat of the sad event of March 28th 2022, the federal government has taken proactive measures to tighten security. This includes providing a valid phone number and a unique National Identification Number (NIN) before purchasing a train ticket.
In terms of revenue, Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Fidet Okhiria, disclosed back in September that the suspension of activities on the Abuja-Kaduna rail lines between March and August 2022, had cost the corporation about N531 million. To this end, FG is eager to get operations up and running as fast as possible.