The Federal government has handed over six operational vehicles, five scanners to the Nigerian Railway Corporation ( NRC) to aid security along the Abuja-Kaduna rail line.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr Magdalene Ajani while handing over the vehicles on Thursday, said the vehicles were meant to complement the efforts of the security agencies deployed along the rail corridor.
TheFact Nigeria notes that the permanent secretary explained that the six vehicles were acquired through a proper procurement process
According to her , “We are all aware of the security situation in the country as a whole but, the minister thought about supporting NRC on the security architecture of the Idu-Abuja rail track.
“At least to improve the security apparatus for the patrolling of that route and so, the ministry has to procure these vehicles to support NRC and the Nigeria Police working non stop on that route to effectively police that route and that is why the minister procured this.
“The security apparatus we have for most of the rail track has a number of components into it. we have the local people that are patrolling, the civil defence, the police corp of the Nigerian Railway Corporation and we have locations where stations are, where we need the security men to be able to move from one location to the other in addition to the fact that we are also looking at surveillance applications and fibre optic equipment too but for the movement of the security, we need these vehicles.
“The vehicles are not meant to be plying on the rail tracks, it is to aid what the security agents are doing. If there is an emergency call, they will be anle to move from point A to B and it may not necessarily be along the rail track. It is part of the things that they need to do to keep the place safe”, Ajani said.
On his part, the Managing Director of NRC, Engr. Fidet Okhiria, noted that the acquisition was a demonstration of the seriousness attached to the security of passengers along the corridor.
His words: “This is to show that we have risen up to the challenges we are facing with insecurity and the minister has decided to buy us some vehicles to ease insecurity on the tracks, so that is why we are here today.
“What we are doing is the handing over of the six Hilux vehicles that can be used as patrol vehicles in aiding the security personnel in moving about and ensuring the tracks are properly controlled and guided.
He added thus: “What we are talking now is creating more roads beside the rail, so that they can be properly patrolled…
“..we are considering all the options digitalized systems where alarm can be raised when the track is tampered with both video and audio.
“We are expecting a lot of scanners. We have luggage scanners, walk through scanners, parcel scanners for either liquid…
“Today Technology is growing up and we have to advance in technology that can detect the tiniest explosives. We are having five here , they are more than this. The rest are in Lagos”.