The federal government declared on May 16 that rail service between Abuja and Kaduna will resume on May 23.
The news was made weeks after gunmen ambushed a train , kidnapped and murdered many people. The majority of those abducted remain captive.
Yakubu Mahmood, a spokesperson for the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), stated that the decision to restore service does not mean that attempts to achieve the safe release of those kidnapped will cease.
Additionally, the NRC stated that extra security measures are being implemented to bolster protection at train stations and along the track.
The statement read;
"The Government wishes to assure the relatives of the abducted citizens still in captivity that the safe rescue of these passengers is a top priority and not to misconstrue the resumption of train services, as abandonment or nonchalant attitude of the government towards their plight. “The Federal Government will never abdicate its responsibility in rescuing these valuable citizens, however, the government assures of its resolve not to succumb to threats by any faceless group. “These measures are not only for the Abuja-Kaduna Train Service (AKTS) but also for all the passenger train services especially on the standard gauge railway lines. “Consequently, the passengers are hereby enjoined to cooperate with the NRC in order to enjoin improved service delivery, safety and comfort by patiently complying with additional measures that will surely be introduced for the safety of our passengers, such as requesting for passengers National Identification Numbers (NIN) as part of our internal security check.”
Before boarding a train, the NRC requires passengers to produce a valid photo identification card and the telephone number of a Next of Kin (NOK) or close relative.
The NRC noted that both online and offline ticket purchases must include the passenger’s profile or identifying information.