By Lucy Ogalue
Some passengers at Agbor rail station in Delta, have called on relevant authorities to provide shuttle buses from the metropolis to the station to ease passengers movement.
The passengers made the call on Saturday in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on the sidelines of the inspection of the facilities on Warri-Itape stations, linking Delta, Edo and Kogi States.
The inspection was carried out by the team from the Federal Ministry of Transportation, led by Dr Magdalene Ajani, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry.
Mr Topechi Leonard, a first time passenger narrating his ordeal, called on relevant authorities and the management of Warri-Itape rail stations to make provision for shuttle buses or taxi to ease passengers’ movement.
“It will be nice enough if there is provision for shuttle buses or taxis to bring passengers to this terrain because the stations here are very far from the main town.
“In this era of kidnapping, people can plan to harm passengers along the bush tracks found around here, you can see it yourself, the thick forest around here.
”This is the very first time for me to board the train since it started and coming down with my children was so scaring. I was looking for a taxi and behold I couldn’t find anyone, I had to pick Okada to drop me here, ” he said.
Mrs Victoria Okoh, a resident of Agbor town and a passenger, reiterated that it would be appreciated if such initiative could be on ground for them.
According to Okoho, she has been boarding the train since it started operations and it has always been difficult to get vehicles to the town, especially at night.
“I remember a day the train arrived at night, it was a tough time for us and the only saving grace was the arrival of one of the securities with an Okada man who had to put a call to others to come down and pick us.
”This experience had made me to obtain the contact of one of them to call anytime such incidence reoccures since I am a trader, ” she said.
Okoho, however, appreciated the government for the presence of the station in the area also appealed to the government to complete its work by making provision for shuttle buses at the rail stations.
Responding to the passengers’ request, the Permanent Secretary, assured the passengers of addressing their plights.
Ajani said arrangement had been concluded to involve private sectors in the operations of the rail not only on Warri-Itape route, but also to include other routes having similar challenges.
According to her, it was because of such complaint among others that necessitated the visit, to strategies on ways to resolve them, including movement from metropolis to the rail stations.
“Government cannot do everything alone, we are trying to involve private individuals in some other aspects, we would also encourage the Road Transport Union to come in to assist.
Ajani said she had spoken with the transport union during their national council meeting to negotiate on partnership to address the issue.