The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said that the Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge train service is “safe, pleasant, predictable and timely”.
The minister stated this at the Idu train terminal, Abuja, shortly after alighting from the train which he boarded from Rigasa terminal in Kaduna.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports the minister and his entourage boarded the train to and fro Kaduna to attend the 47th Meeting of the National Council on Information.
Mohammed said: “My experience is quite pleasant. We left Abuja at 6a.m. and the first thing that struck my mind was the punctuality of the service.
“You can predict when you will leave Abuja and when you will get to Kaduna without hitch.”
The minister said while in the train, he took time to interact with co passengers who were excited to see him and they also share their experiences with him.
He said with about 532 passengers on each service four times a day, except on Wednesday that the train takes two trips, passengers on the route had heave a sigh of relief.
Mohammed said with the train service, the pressure on the Kaduna road had reduced while some people working in Abuja could decide to live in Kaduna.
He disclosed that more than three decades after the commencement of construction on a 276-kilometre standard gauge rail line linking Warri in Delta State to Ajaokuta, Kogi state, train operation had begun a test run on the route.
He said it was heart-warming that the standard gauge rail line had finally come alive after many years of neglect by previous administrations.
Similarly, Mohammed said the government is confident of delivering the 156km standard gauge Lagos-Ibadan rail line in February next year.
He said work was also ongoing on Lagos-Kano: Port Harcourt-Calabar-Kano rail lines.
The minister re-assured Federal Government’s commitment to delivering functional and modern rail system in the country.