By Henry Iheanacho
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has said that Monday night’s attack on an Abuja-Kaduna train could have been averted if government had approved the ministry’s request for the purchase of digital security equipment.
Speaking to pressmen during an on-the-spot assessment of the scene of the attack, Amaechi said that he had warned of the possible loss of lives as a result of failure to procure necessary security equipment for the trains which costs N3 billion.
He also said that his ministry applied for approval to procure the digital devices which would have enabled the railway employees to spot from afar the terrorists who attacked the train.
The minister also revealed that it would cost more than N3 billion to replace all that has been destroyed in the incident.
“We knew what the problem would be. We knew we needed to have digital security equipment. We applied for it.
“Because if we had those equipment, you will see nobody on that track. And I warned that lives will be lost. Now, lives are lost. Eight persons dead, 25 persons in the hospital. We don’t know how many persons have been kidnapped. And the cost of that equipment is just N3 billion. The cost of what we’ve lost is more than N3 billion. We’ve lost tracks, we’ve lost locomotives and coaches. We’ve lost human beings. And the equipment is just N3 billion.
“To fix all the things on that track now, will cost us more than N3 billion. And now even the things we said give us approval to buy – at the time we asked for it, dollar was N400, now it is N500. When you come with sincerity to government and your colleagues and people are stopping you, it is annoying,” he said.
Watch him speak below: