The Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has blamed the bureaucratic bottleneck associated with the procurement of Digital Security Architecture to secure the rail lines as responsible for the bomb blast on the Abuja-Kaduna rail corridor.
Amaechi made this known when inspecting the site of the blast located between the Rijana and Dutse section, about Km 137 from Abuja.
“We have not been able to install the security sensors because the procurement process is a bit difficult. It is typical of Nigerians, shortening the approval process could have saved lives like these,” he said.
The Minister said the drones alone can inform the system when there are people around the rail tracks, as the equipment picks up sensors when the tracks are bridged, thereby making it possible to respond to danger.
“Even if they get us approval, it will take some months to acquire them from overseas, to install them. We need to do that to enable us to see from Kaduna-Abuja, Itakpe-Warri and from Lagos-Ibadan, what is going on so that we don’t continue to lose lives because lives are important. If we don’t do that, more people will die. The cost was about N3billion and the damage here is more than N3billion. So, if we had gotten the approval, we would have saved lives.” He explained.
He said the total number of passengers on the train was 398, adding that the number of missing, kidnapped and injured persons have not been ascertained.
Engr. Ibrahim Alhassan Musa the Chairman, Governing Board, Nigerian Railway Corporation urged everyone to be security-conscious and to report any suspicious activity to the relevant authority, condoled all those who lost loved ones and wished the injured quick recovery.
It may be recalled that, unlike the latest blast which claimed 8 lives, a similar one occurred within the same axis on October 22, 2021 though no life was lost.