The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Ameachi, said on Wednesday that the Federal Government would soon put in place security measures at train stations aimed at generating statistics of train users.
Ameachi said this during the test-run of the Abuja-Kaduna Rail Modernisation Project in Abuja.
He said that the ministry would work with the Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to ensure that statistics of train passengers were collected at the various terminals.
The minister said that it does not necessarily have to be the National Identity Card but that Driver’s Licence and National Passport could serve the purpose of identification.
“In terms of security, we want to know who is boarding the train and who is not boarding.
“What worries me is the rural dwellers; but what I think is to work with the Nigerian Identity Management Commission.
“This is to ensure that in every station, you have a member of the NIMC official, so that they can register you, do one or two processes andin two weeks, you can get your ID card.
“I am impressed and we are good to go. The reason why we are not going immediately is that we have to also take into consideration, the religious obligations of the President so that we will be able to bring him to launch the project.
Ameachi said that the ministry would do a test run of the track in the next two weeks, to ascertain the level of operation stability of the trains.
“We are looking at the first week of July because in the next two weeks they will do a test run of the track without passengers and another two weeks will be used to do a test run with passengers free of charge.
“This will take us to the end of June and the first week of July; hopefully, we believe the President will come and inaugurate it for commercial activities and anybody who boards the train must pay afterwards.’’
He urged the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to speed up action of acknowledging passengers using the identity card.
The minister said that doing this would make the corporation work closely with the ministry, to prevent security threat on the rail track.
In his remarks, the Acting Managing Director, NRC, Mr Fidet Okhiria, gave assurance that the corporation would have enough equipment to further improve on the train project.
Okhiria said that the tickets to be used to board the trains would be insured.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a total sum of N1.04 billion was spent on the project.