Mr Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, said the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) allowed the standing of passengers in trains along the Abuja-Kaduna railway to enable it to accommodate the surge.
Amaechi, during the monthly inspections of the Lagos – Ibadan railway project, told newsmen that insecurity made travelling unbearable for Nigerians.
He, however, assured Nigerians that more coaches would be provided before the end of December to accommodate the surge of passengers at the rail stations.
”The reason why we allowed standing on the Abuja-Kaduna is the insecurity has made it unbearable for passengers.
“Even if the coaches 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.
”Once we get the next 10 coaches we are sending 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.
According to the Minister, the present coach along the Abuja-Kaduna route can take a sitting capacity of about 1000 passengers but carry 3700 passengers daily.
He noted that the 10 additional coaches would go along way at reducing the pressure along the route.
Amaechi reiterated the importance of railway, adding that it would helpe the economy to grow.
He said:”You don’t make money in railways, it is the economy that grows. So you don’t focus on how much you will make but on how much impact you will have on the economy.(NAN)