…Says N3bn equipment lost to train attack
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has said Monday’s terrorist attack on the Abuja-Kaduna rail route would have been averted if there were drones and helicopters to carry out surveillance along the corridor.
Many Nigerians however wondered what it would cost to install a drone on the corridor prior to this incident especially as there have been reported cases of attack in the past.
Nigerians also would like to know why this was not included before the inauguration of the train service.
The Minister said the Ministry has made presentation to the Federal Government for the procurement of security equipment, regretting however that the Ministry was yet to get approval.
Amaechi stated these on Tuesday while leading top officials of the Ministry on an inspection of the scene of the incident.
Addressing newsmen, Amaechi said, “we need helicopters and drones. We are thinking about the possibility of employing natives until we get that equipment.
“We have not been able to install security sensors because the procurement process is a bit difficult. It is typical of Nigerians.
“The process is tedious, the approval is also tedious. We have not been able to get the approval that will lead to the purchase of those items.
“If those items were here, drones alone will tell you that there are people around the rail tracks. There are equipment that picks sensors if you touch the track, but unfortunately, the process has not been able to get us that approval for us to import those items.
“The cameras in the train cannot pick what is happening outside. What you need is a camera that shows 100 metres away from the train. We have done all we need to do in the Ministry of Transportation and we have forwarded it to them for approval but we have not gotten approval.
“The equipment we lost will cost about N3bn and we are about to place order for the ones in Lagos.”
Amaechi warned of the dangers to come if security devices were not urgently procured to save lives on rail routes across the country.
“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 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 had gotten the approval, we would have saved the N3 billion and saved lives.”