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Why FG will grant Nollywood filmmakers free use of new trains – Amaechi

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Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has asked Nollywood filmmakers to use Nigeria’s trains to shoot their films to showcase the massive infrastructure development of the current administration.

According to him, the world must see what President Muhammadu Buhari is doing in infrastructure.

Amaechi said this as he hosted the Chief Executive of Native Media, Mr Rogers Ofime, and his crew members in Abuja.

He said, “The film project is a beautiful idea. It will engage the people meaningfully, provide entertainment and grow the economy.

“We have to do this because what the President is doing in infrastructure should be shown to the world.”

The minister said the train facility would be provided to the movie producers at no cost, which will, in turn, boost the image of Nigeria.

“We have to grant them that approval of using the train, so the world will know that we are delivering on our campaign promises.

“We’re happy they are doing it and that is why we will be willing to always grant them the approval of the train anytime they wish to use it,” he added.

 

Railway

Diesel cost: NRC reduces Lagos-Ibadan trips from six to two

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The Nigerian Railway Corporation has reduced the number of trips on the Lagos-Ibadan train service to two due to the hike in the price of diesel.

Managing Director of the corporation, Fidet Okhiria, told The Punch that the NRC had cut the number of return trips on the route from six to two every day.

He said, “The Lagos-Ibadan train service is running, but we have reduced the number of trips on that route because of the diesel problem. We reduced the number of trips we are running because of the hike in diesel price.

“We are now doing two return trips as against six, which by now should have gone to 10. So, we run just two trips now due to the diesel problem.”

Despite the rising cost of operations, the NRC boss said it was outside the corporation’s powers to hike fares.

He said the corporation had sent recommendations to the Federal Ministry of Transportation for an adjustment in the train fare.

“We just can’t increase it by ourselves. The government has to do that. We have made some recommendations. But even with the recommendations we made, the new price of diesel has overshot our workings contained in the recommendations,” Okhiria said.

“However, we don’t want to price ourselves out of the market too, because the price of petrol is not increasing as such, rather the increase is little when compared to diesel price. And you know we are competing with transporters on road.”

In the last five months, the price of diesel has hit N800 per litre, representing a 28 per cent increase — it sold for 625/litre in March.

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Train attack: Terrorists release retired general’s six family members, one other

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Four children and three adults among train Abuja-Kaduna passengers kidnapped by terrorists in March have been released.

The children, who are the grandsons of a retired general, were released on Wednesday along with their father and mother.

A 60-year old man was also said to have been released in the latest set of freed abductees on health ground.

They were abducted when the terrorists bombed the rail track near Kaduna, forcing their train to stop and shot at the passengers, killing some of them in the process.

A number of the captives had earlier been released at different times.

A statement on Wednesday a Kaduna-based publisher, Tukur Mamur, who negotiated the release of some of the passengers, said the children and their parents were released after the intervention of Sheik Ahmad Gumi.

“Disturbed by the gory videos images of four teenage children belonging to the same family he saw in the last video released by the attackers of the AK9 Train, Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Gumi for the first time since the abduction of the innocent passengers of that train over 4 months ago has reached out to the abductors through his media consultant, sent Allah’s messages to them and consistently pleaded with them to consider the release of the poor children and their innocent parents.

“It was learnt that the health condition of two of the teenage children has deteriorated since the flogging incident that affected their helpless father. A total of additional seven hostages were therefore released on Wednesday.

“The husband (maybe he meant father) of the four kids is a staff of the National Assembly Commission. There was no intervention from the commission or NASS on his behalf since the travails begun.

“This is to confirm to the world that due to Sheikh Gumi’s efforts and with the support of a serving senator from the North, (a God-fearing personality that doesn’t have any relationship with the hostages) who chose to remain anonymous that all the family of six have regained their freedom on Wednesday morning. Also released is a 60-year-old woman, one Hajia Aisha Hassan, who was said to have been released due to life threatening health challenges that deteriorated recently.”

He gave the names of the six family members released as Abubakar Idris Garba, who is the father of the four kids, his wife, Maryama Abubakar Bobbo, and their eldest son, Ibrahim Abubakar Garba, who is 10 years old.

Others are Fatima Abubakar Garba, seven years; Imran Abubakar Garba, five years old, and the youngest, Zainab Abubakar Garba, who is only one and a half years.

The husband, Abubakar is the son of Maj. Gen. Idris Garba (retd). Gen. Garba, now bedridden, had once pleaded with government to ensure the release of his child, daughter-in-law and grandchildren.

He was a military administrator of Kano and Benue states during the administration of former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.

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FG won’t resume Abuja-Kaduna train service until all abducted passengers are freed – Minister

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Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, has said the Abuja-Kaduna train service will remain shut indefinitely until the kidnapped victims are reunited with their families and additional security measures provided.

He also said the proposed surveillance security equipment on rail tracks would be procured soon.
The minister spoke after he inspected the Idu, Abuja Train Station, on Tuesday.
“It is very important to get those Nigerians that have been kidnapped reunited with their families, otherwise it will appear the government is not sensitive whereas the government is not only sensitive but the government is doing everything it can to make sure that those who have been affected by this abduction are reunited with their families.”
“You must put in place adequate security and infrastructural measures to protect and prevent all forms of threats that are possible and leave what you cannot do to God but everything humanly possible must be put in place to ensure that the reoccurrence of this nature is automatically eliminated forever. Technology can make that possible and we are trying to deploy the best technology available anywhere in the world that has served very well in other jurisdictions which we believe can also serve us very well in Nigeria.”
A memo to procure a N3 billion rail track sensors by the immediate past Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi, was rejected at the Federal Executive Council.
However, the current minister said the procurement would still happen.
“We are in the process of procuring the sensors and that is why I said we must ensure that we put in place every infrastructure that will ensure that lives are safeguarded. So, the technology that is going to be deployed is such that you can perceive a threat and eliminate it before you get to the location; that is being proactive.
“The best way to travel as far as I am concerned is by train and by the grace of God, we will make sure these services resume but not until those things I mentioned have been achieved. Rescue or reunion of those that have been kidnapped with their families and putting in place technology that will ensure that threats to lives are eliminated,” he said.
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