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Business News of Tuesday, 6 December 2022


Abuja-Kaduna train records low passenger turnout

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Amid tight security on the Abuja-Kaduna rail corridor, there was very low passenger turnout on Monday.

The PUNCH had reported that upon resumption of the train operations on Monday, there were heavily armed security personnel at Idu train station.

A passenger and Former Dean Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National Open University Abuja, Prof Ganiyat Adesina-Uthman, said she had an awesome experience travelling to Kaduna with the train, noting that she enjoyed the fully air-conditioned coaches. She also confirmed that security officers paraded the moving train.

She said passengers had to scan barcodes on the ticket machines before being allowed to board.

“Now, we have the e- ticket. They use a machine to check instead of collecting hard paper and stamping it. They use the machine to check the barcode to confirm that you are the owner of the ticket. It was an awesome experience and I think it’s a step forward.”

Speaking on passenger safety, she said there were no fears at all, adding that she slept during the trip.

She added,” I had to wake up very early. My vehicle and the people that brought me were the first that got to the rail station this morning to observe what was happening. They said there were military men and some police officers at the station.”

“Also, when we arrived at Kaduna, just the way the police, the military and media houses were scattered around in Abuja was the same way they were in Kaduna.”

She said, “You know that some of our people are also not computer-savvy to quickly go and use the online platform.”

She said nobody would be admitted into the train without a National Identification Number, noting that this might be one of the reasons for low passenger turnout. On his part, a passenger, Usi Yahahya, said security measures had improved when compared with the situation before the attack, noting that there were security personnel on board.

“Adequate security personnel were on board right from Abuja to Kaduna. They were moving around the train. The presentation of NIN is also helpful to check security.”

He, however, said he hoped the Federal Government would sustain it, adding that it was a seamless process.

Speaking on passenger safety, he said, “Safety, for now, is guaranteed. We hope that they will sustain it.”

He further said there were lots of vacant seats, adding that because this is the first trip people are still skeptical and just observing what will happen before they can patronize rail transportation again.

Yahaya added,” Idu station had a few of us, but as we came to Kubwa, the passengers were a bit more. The turnout was fairly okay.”

Another passenger, Sule Achema, said he still had fears boarding the train despite tight security personnel on board.

“It was an awesome experience even though there were still fears in me.”

He further said the passenger turnout was very low, adding that it was expected because of the attack on the rail lines.