Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said that the Abuja-Kaduna rail service would resume on July 29 despite the on-going Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Amaechi disclosed this while test running the new coaches recently deployed on the route on Saturday.
Recall that the train services were shut down to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
According to the Minister, there has been pressure from several quarters to resume the railway service before Sallah.
He said:” We will resume the Abuja-Kaduna train service on Wednesday, July 29.”
On the fare, Amaechi said after due considerations, President Muhammadu Buhari, agreed that the fare is reviewed to accommodate well-meaning Nigerians.
He said the fare for the economy class was reviewed to N3000 and the Business class, N6000.
According to the Minister, most passengers are of the opinion that the fare was nothing compared to the risk of kidnappers on the road.
He reiterated that measures were already in place to ensure all safety precautions were taken to curtail the spread of COVID-19 to citizens.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation(NRC), Fidel Okhiria, said the corporation was ready for the resumption on Wednesday.
“We are ready, it is just a matter of calling the essential staff in the station, we have been checking the coaches and warming the locomotives, so we are ready to go,” Okhiria said.
“While we are doing that, the best move is to be giving out the hard copy of the ticket before the e-ticket starts.
“The fare is not going to be so different from the former, though it will depend on the pleasure that you want.
“For trips that will take off from Kaduna straight to Abuja non-stop, it will be higher than those that will stop at the five stations.
“There are different coaches now coming in, some will take 24 passengers, some 56, others 68 and 88 depending on the pleasure that you want,” Okhiria added.