Any person wanting to patronize the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) without wearing a face mask will not be allowed near its facilities and environs as the corporation has declared a no-mask no-entry zone at all its facilities in preparation for resumption of operations on July 29.
Mr. Pascal Nnorli, Manager, Abuja-Kaduna train service told newsmen that the corporation would in no way compromise its standard of operation for anybody adding that measures have been put in place to ensure passengers obeyed all COVID-19 guidelines on the trains.
“We are 85 per cent ready because we know a day like that will come. “If you pass through our station at idu today, you will see a demo of what we intend to do in all the stations.
“You can see the social distancing marked at strategic locations. Now we have a definite date for resumption, we will complete them in all the passenger stations.
“Again, the first thing we are going to do is to decontaminate all our running stock, because we have parked them for a while, almost four months now and also decontaminate our stations and our offices.
“You can see on board we have selected the seats that are going to be used, for the business class we are reducing the number by half.
“Each ro have four and we are carrying two, for the economy, each roll has five, there will be one empty seat in between two passengers.
“And again, we have declared all railway environment and facilities no mask – no entry environment,” Nnorli added.
The manager said the station was expecting a Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) with eight coaches and two heads, which would be used for express train.
He said that the full compliments of the additional stocks would go a long way to assuage the problem of teaming passengers.
He noted that the influx of passengers would be determined after the resumption of operations as some passengers would be skeptical to travel by train.
On managing passenger influx, Nnorli said measures were already in place to ensure social distancing was maintained.
He said security operatives around the station had also been increased to enforce compliance of the rules.
“This is about life and death, it doesn’t know big man, middle man or small man, so anybody who is not willing to comply to those protocols we have set, please don’t come to our station.
“When passengers obey simply rules of stop here, till the next passenger before you moves, we have developed a strategy.
“We don’t intend to apply force but instead of one person to come and kill 5000 persons, we apply force, we are not going to compromise on that, “the manager added.
He also commended the nearest coaches deployed to the station, saying it is an improvement from the former.