Earlier today during the media briefing of the presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister For Transportation spoke out on the circumstances surrounding his announcement on Saturday 24th July 2020 on the reopening of train services from Abuja to Kaduna, oyogist.com reports.
During the briefing, he stated that he felt that the time wasn’t right for train stations to be reopened but that he was pressured by religious stakeholders into doing so, to enable mass participation in forthcoming religious events in the North.
In his words, ” I refused to agree that we should reopen the railways. It is the pressure of those who want to participate in the forthcoming spiritual activities that made me accept that we’ll reopen the railways from Abuja to Kaduna.”
He went on to explain that though these services have resumed the following rules must be strictly adhered to:
– Sanitary requirements such as the use of face masks and sanitizers must be followed strictly in order to use these services.
– The trains will not be used to full capacity so as to enable social distancing among commuters ( this rule does not apply to first class coaches which are already well spaced).
– Loitering will not be permitted on the trains. The only time movement will be permitted is when a passenger needs to use the convenience.
The Honorable Minister also stated that there would be an increase in the train fare to cover up for the reduction in the number of passengers. Other announcements made includes the introduction of electronic ticketing in the next three months. (tentatively)
He warned that anyone who fails to meet up with these rules will be evicted from the train without hesitation.