Low Patronage Greets Abuja-Kaduna Train Service 

   •Runs one-trip daily • Full operations begin soon, NRC assures 

Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

The Abuja-Kaduna Train Service (AKTS), has been greeted with low patronage by passengers due to skeletal operations in the corridor.  

THISDAY checks yesterday showed the train service only run one trip to and fro daily. The train leaves Idu, Abuja train station by 9:40 am to arrive Rigassa, Kaduna by 12pm and return from Kaduna to Abuja by 3pm.

This move have left commercial activities in the corridor crippled  as the service has gone from operation of eight trips to one daily. 

THISDAY checks also showed that at Kubwa station, there was  no passenger in sight, rather, few cars parked by workers and security men, who were unwilling to speak with this reporter. 

However, a top NRC official, who spoke with THISDAY on the  condition of anonymity, hinted that full service would be restored soon.

The source noted: “Like someone who have been sick for a long time, you don’t expect him to recover and be fit immediately. We all know what happened that threw the country into a  confused state. The kidnapping, but, we are recovering and will be on our feet with full blast operations. 

“Like the Minister said, everything have been put in place and the insinuations out there about lack of security installations at our track ways is laughable. Everything around the stations and track corridors are captured. Concerted effort were being made to secure the safe release of the abducted passengers being held hostage by the terrorists. This, was being done out of public domain for strategic security reasons, so we have to leave gadgets installations out because it’s purely security matters. 

“Nigerians should pray for us to overcome these challenges,” the source pleaded. 

Recall, the insurgents had blown up the rail track and bombed the moving train, killing some and abducting more than 60 passengers. The unprecedented attack attracted international and national outrage.

But, on Wednesday, 5th of October, 2022, the seven-man Presidential Committee assembled by the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), General L E O Irabor, secured the release and took custody of all the 23 remaining passengers held hostage by Boko Haram Terrorists following the attack on the Abuja to Kaduna train on the 28th May, 2022.

But, on resumption, the Nigeria Railway Cooperation (NRC) had announced it would be operating four trips daily, comprising two trips from Abuja and another two from Kaduna with a promise to increase the service to eight trips as passengers surge in numbers. 

The ill-fated terrorists attack on the service at the Kaduna axis left operation of the train couple with the constant breakdown of coaches, thereby dampening patronage. 

The Minister of Transportation Mu’azu Sambo during resumption of the AKTS in October 2022 had revealed that the government was putting in place necessary security measures to ensure safety of passengers using the service.

Muazu, had also noted that one of such measures was the introduction of ‘No NIN, NO Ticket Policy. THISDAY checks showed that the policy has been implemented as no passenger is allowed to board the train without proper documentations.

Sambo, however, disclosed that the number of trips would be reduced and when the number of passengers increase and the traveling public begin to have confidence in the service, NRC would increase operations, but that night trips that is the 6-8pm trips have been cancelled.

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