By JAMES EZEMA
The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Ameachi, has given a standing order to security personnel stationed at the terminus that anyone without face mask should be denied access and turned back.
He made this known Wednesday when he visited the Idu Train Terminal to inspect passengers compliance to COVID-19 safety measures, following the reopening of the Abuja – Kaduna train services after a four month lockdown occasioned by the pandemic.
The Minister further said that incidences of eminent personalities flouting NCDC’s COVID-19 safety measures at airports will not be condoned at train stations.
While encouraging everyone to imbibe the simple, safety basics, he noted that “protecting ourselves against COVID-19 takes no special training”.
He also debunked claims by the National Assembly that the amount of indebtedness of the country to foreign countries is tantamount to ceding the country’s sovereignty to other nations, China most likely.
Furthermore, he explained that loans being accessed from foreign financial bodies are for infrastructural development with payment stretched across a certain period, adding that to this end, an escrow account managed by the Federal Ministry of Finance has been opened, with the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) making monthly payments towards loan repayment.
The Minister while fielding questions from the media, disclosed that he is to appear again before the House of Representatives on 17th August, 2020, to give insight into the commercial loan agreement signed between Nigeria and Export-Import Bank of China to the tune of $5.3 billion.
“If there were financial institutions within the country that could loan the ministry such enormous sums of money, there would be no need seeking funds across shores”, he said.
He, however expressed the believe that the project when completed will not only have the capacity to repay the loans but will generate revenue for the country, as well as create employment for the teeming unemployed.