Nigerians have expressed worry over the spate of rising train accidents across the train corridors in the country.
The rising accidents has raised questions as to the safety architecture of Nigerian train operations.
In the past three months, at least four serious accidents have been recorded on the Nigerian train corridors of Abuja-Kaduna, Itapkpe-Warri, and the Lagos train corridor.
The last accident being the accident involved a Nigerian Railway Corporation passenger train and a Lagos State Government staff bus that was conveying workers to their offices in the Shogunle area of Lagos State. At least two fatalities were recorded.
Some train users in Abuja expressed worry over the frequency of accidents calling for an overhaul of the train safety protocols.
Mr. Audu Mohammed, a train user said i”t’s cause for concern the frequency of train accidents in Nigeria. It shows the safety protocols are poor.”
He also called to question the Minister of Transportation’s claim that surveillance equipment has been installed on the train to detect danger well ahead.
“I recall during the resumption you the Abuja-Kaduna train operations, during the test ride, the Minister of Transportation, Muazu Sambo Jaji has claimed that surveillance cameras were installed in the locomotives for the driver and the control room to see kilometres ahead so the train can be stopped in.yye event of danger or encroachment on the train tracks. But what has been happening shows that there is no such surveillance happening. This is sad” he said.
Another train user Abdullahi Sambo also expressed similar worry over the accidents
He called on the government to launch special Investigations into matter as it is causing panic among passengers.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Transportation, Muazu Jaji Sambo has promised an investigation into the Thursday accident in Lagos.
“The Minister has ordered an immediate and full investigation into the unfortunate incident” his statement said.
“We are saddened by the news of the accident which occurred this morning involving a train operated by the Nigerian Railway Corporation and a Lagos State staff bus, conveying workers to their offices in the early hours of today in Shogunle, Lagos” the statement signed by Mr. Henshaw Ogubike, the Director (Press and Public Relations said.
The statement indicated that “the Nigerian Railway Police command has effectively taken over the investigation into the incident as a result of the directive of the Honourable Minister of Transportation for a detailed investigation of the incident.”
In related development, the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) has also commenced investigation into an accident involving a train with registration number 2215 and a Lagos State BRT staff bus with registration number 04A-48LA, which occurred on March 9, 2023 at PWD, Shogunle on Agege Motor Road, Ikeja, Lagos State.
According to eye witness report, the moving train rammed into the BRT bus, which crossed the train tracks despite train traffic signal, and warning from the train traffic controller.
First responders at the accident site have evacuated the bus and the train.
This accident investigation marks the first train accident investigation embarked upon by the Bureau since its establishment under the NSIB Act 2022.
“The NSIB, hereby, solicit information from the general public in form of pictures, video or recording evidences to help assist in conducting a comprehensive investigation. The Bureau can be reached through email@example.com and aib Nigeria on its social media platforms. The Bureau can also be reached on its emergency line +234-807-709-0909” it said in a statement.