Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye, has directed the management of Nigerian Railways Corporation (NRC) to establish a host community relations committee in all train stations across the country.
Adegoroye gave the directive in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Prince Ebenezer Adeniyan, on Monday.
The minister was quoted to have issued the directive shortly after his assessment visit to Tom Ikimi Train Station in Igueben, Edo, where some passengers were kidnapped on Saturday.
Adegoroye, who held a meeting with security operatives at the station, directed the management of the NRC to immediately establish a Nigerian Railway Corporation Host Community Relations.
According to him, the committee will help in reinforcing communal vigilance and security of the train tracks, stations and passengers all over the country.
Adegoroye said this was one of the strategic decisions arrived at the operational meeting he held with stakeholders at Igueben Station to forestall further occurrence of such dastardly act in future.
“First of all, on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, I want to express our sympathy to the families, relations and friends of those who were kidnapped by these terrorists, these bandits.
“We have decided that because these stations are located in certain communities all over the country, it is in the best interest of those host communities to ensure these federal government investments are protected.
“That is why it is important for us to work hand in hand with the host communities,” he said.
According to the minister, the station will not be shut down because of the incident as the Federal Government will neither be cowed nor intimidated by bandits.
“I can assure you that the Federal Government and Nigerian Railway Corporation remain undeterred. And that is why we will continue to operate this rail service; we’re not going to stop.
“All we need to do is to ensure that we cross our t’s and dot our I’s regarding the safety of our people, the passengers,” he said. Adegoroye was on the assessment visit in company of the Managing Director of the Nigeria Railway Corporation, Mr Fidet Okhiria and other top officials of the Federal Ministry of Transportation.nan