Federal Ministry of Transportation, on Thursday, handed over six patrol vehicles with scanners to Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to boost security on Abuja-Kaduna rail line.
Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Magdalene Ajani, while handing over the vehicles, said it would aid movements on the route, especially in times of emergency.
”The ministry decided to procure these vehicles to support NRC and the police working on that route to be able to effectively police the axis.
”It will further support the corporation on the security architecture of Idu -Abuja rail track.
”The security apparatus we have for most of the rail track have a number of components.
”We have the local people who are patrolling. We also have the NSCDC personnel, the police corps of NRC. We have locations where stations are and where we need the security men to be able to move from one location to the other.
”This is in addition to the fact that we are also looking at surveillance apparatus and fibre optic equipment. So for movement of security personnel, we need these vehicles,” she said.
Ajani said that in case of emergency calls, the security personnel should be able to move from one point to the other. This is part of their responsibilities to keep the place safe.
She noted that the vehicles passed through proper procurement process before being handed to the corporation.
On the sensors being planned to be installed on the route, the permanent secretary explained that they were still in the procurement stage.
She said: ”We have gotten approval from NITDA. So, when the procurement process is concluded, they will be installed.
Receiving the vehicles, Chairman of NRC, Alhaji Ibrahim Alhassan, said that the development was a wake-up call on other institutions of government to support the corporation.
”At NRC, we cannot do it alone. We need the support of other institutions of government. Our operations are more or less social security. Without this, most people will not be able to travel.
”When we had that unfortunate incident and we could not run for two days, many people could not travel; they preferred to stay where they were until the trains were back.
”So, the ministry has done very well and we really appreciate it. It is an indication that we are not alone and that we are being supported,” he said.
Alhassan said that tThe vehicles and scanners would be deployed as backup to whatever the corporation needed to do.
”We cannot have security people sitting down in one place. They need to be mobile. We will put the vehicles in the various security stations so that we can do necessary monitoring and patrol.
”The scanners will also provide additional security so that we will ensure that our passengers are safe,” he said.
Also speaking, Managing Director of NRS, Mr Fidet Okhiria, said that the vehicles would go a long way in assisting the corporation in its security arrangement.
He commended the ministry for the gesture, adding: “it shows that we are rising up to the challenges we are facing in terms of security.”