President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the naming of the operational hub of the Itakpe to Warri train line after former president, Goodluck Jonathan.
This was made known by minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
The minister, who stated this while inspecting the Warri to Itakpe rail rehabilitation on Saturday, said “It was named after Goodluck Jonathan and the President approved it. It was named a long time ago Agbor station and the yard was named after President Jonathan. We have named the Agbor complex station after former President Goodluck Jonathan.”
Speaking on the station, the minister who expressed satisfaction with the quality of work, said “When you see a good job, don’t ask questions. The camera will show that this is a good job, this is the Goodluck Jonathan Agbor Station which incorporates the railway facilities. Both Julius Berger, CCECC and Team have all done a good job.”
The minister also revealed that transport fare for Abuja to Kaduna train service, will double as the management plans to implement social distancing on the coaches. He stated that the coaches will be reduced by half as each will now carry 40 instead of the usual 84 passengers.
On the time for commissioning of the project, the minister said “It is the duty of the ministry to convince the Presidency that we are ready for commissioning. I won’t commission, it is the President that will commission it. But we are thinking about virtual commissioning,” he stated.
Amaechi, while speaking on the reopening of train services, also said there was a need to maintain social distancing and ensure that COVID-19 would not be transmittable among passengers. “Now that is worse when you have to deal with 4000 passengers a day between Kaduna and Abuja.
“ In fact, this is more like a test run. I told them I want only 30 persons and I’m sure we are more than that. So imagine what happens when you have to deal with passengers. This test run will make us go back to the drawing board and the first thing we will put in place when we get approval is that the cost of Transportation from Abuja to Kaduna will double because each coach takes 88 passengers, but we will reduce it to 40 and the price will increase. But we will need to talk to the President before we move on.
He further added that passengers would have to arrive the station with their hand sanitizers and it should have a minimum of 90 percent alcohol content. Passengers without face masks would not be allowed on the train and police presence would be increased to enforce law and order.
“ We are going to comply with the COVID-19 committee and the committee says three metre distance that’s why we are reducing the number of passenger from 88 per coach to 40, not even 44 because you must give that 3 metre distance so that you don’t spread COVID-19.”