By Albert Akota
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi has said his ministry directed Nigeria Railway Cooperation (NRC) to allow standing passengers in Abuja- Kaduna railway to enable it accommodate more travellers.
The minister who disclosed this yesterday during monthly inspections of Lagos, Ogun and Ibadan railway project said the permission was as a result of insecurity and assured Nigerians that there will be more Coaches before Christmas.
“Even if they arrive in second week of December, you don’t know how long it will take to be cleared from the seaport. Once it is cleared from the seaport, it may take one or two days to get here.
“We will struggle to make sure that before Christmas it happens. But even if it does not happen this one will be available, the only problem with this is that we will insist on 24 passengers on each coach, making it 48 for the two.
Ameachi noted that accommodating more passengers will go a long way in bring insecurity to bearable for Nigerians as well as listening to Nigerians who are traveling to Kaduna state.
According to him, “once we get the next 10 coaches we are sending it to Kaduna, the situation where passengers stand inside our coaches will be reduced.
“Although it will not solve the problem of addressing the 3,700 passengers but at least it will reduce who stand.
“The actual number of passengers which that service can take or the sitting capacity is about 1,000 plus but we are carrying 3,700 daily. So if you add 10 coaches of 84 passengers per coach you will know that we are under pressure”.