President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday commissioned 10 new coaches and two new locomotives for the Kaduna – Abuja train service at Rigasa train station in Kaduna.
The government said it procured the new vehicles to reduce the stress of passengers whose large volume currently overwhelms facilities.
In his address at the ceremony, Mr. Buhari reiterated the resolve of his administration to vigorously implement the federal government’s 25-year railway master plan with a view to transforming rail transportation in Nigeria.
In his welcome address on the occasion, the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, said railway transport had nearly become a new phenomenon in Nigeria through the current efforts of government to expand its facilities.
“The indication is that we will no longer see ticket racketeering, nobody will be sending us text messages and video clips of passengers protesting at the train stations because of inadequate services,” Mr. Amaechi said.
The minister recalled that the standard gauge rail from Idu in Abuja to Rigasa in Kaduna was commissioned in July 2016 by the President. The project was launched several years ago by the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo and sustained under former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Dignitaries who witnessed the ceremony include Mustapha Boss, Secretary to Government of the Federation; governors of Kano and Kaduna, Abdullahi Ganduje and Nasiru El-rufai respectively, and National Assembly members.
The president later took a train ride from Rigasa to Kakuri to commission the Inland Dry Port on the outskirts of Kaduna city.