By Adeyinka Aderibigbe
The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) Managing Director Fidet Okhiria has said the corporation would continue to work assiduously at ensuring that the railway is made safe for all passengers.
He spoke Friday at the closing ceremony of the 10-man Railway Screening Squad (RSS) held at the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Training School, Lagos.
He said the training is to ensure that passengers and their luggage are safe from all intruders or bandits.
He said: “With the introduction of new line of operations and expansion of our services such as the standard gauge taking off in Itakpe-Warri and Lagos- Ibadan, to join the Abuja- Kaduna, which we currently running, we must ensure that the railway is made safe for all users. We must be a step ahead of any threat to our smooth operations or to the lives and property of our passengers.”
Okhiria said rather than contracting foreign consultants, the Corporation had partnered FAAN for the training because the agency has a lot of competences in large cargo and luggage scanning and other security details, adding that the depth and scope of activities the 10-man squad had been exposed to in the last one week spoke glowingly of the capacity of the FAAN trainers.
He said though the idea of the training started in 2017, it took so long due to the need to domesticate the study and made them tailor made for railway operations.
He said the 10-man squad are pioneers of a new arm of operations which the cooperation are going into, such as cargo and passenger scanning, which the corporation was not doing before, adding that the team would form the nucleus of trainers who would train other in the other unit.
FAAN’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Captain Hamidu Yadudu praised Okhiria for midwifing the historic collaboration which culminated in the training.
Yadudu who was represented by the Director of Airport Security Services (ASS) Group Captain Sadiq Dass (rtd), charged all trainees to be good ambassadors of the school and give their best in the promotion of security, safety and facilitation of greater cooperation and collaboration between the two agencies of government.
He said: “Now that the Nigerian Railway has commenced operation, it behoves on you to deploy all that you have been taught here to keep both the corporation and the passengers safe. Our operations and yours is a network, your success is our success. Let’s continue to work together In the interest of Nigerians.”
He charged the trainees to be good ambassadors of the NRC and FAAN, so as to strengthen the partnership they are pioneering.
Earlier the General Manager Training Dr Mrs Anne Egbadon-Eyinnaya said he trainers had taken the trainers through domesticated training manual that is industry specific to the railway and its peculiar operations, adding that the manual and training can compare favourably globally.
She said the preparation towards achieving this informed the delay in activation of the training since when it was first moored in 2017.
Mrs. Egbadon Eyinnaya said the trainees were taking through several simulation tests of established standard processes and procedures with the scope covering counter terrorism, understanding the work environment, access control measures, screening and elimination of perpetrators, the use of x-ray scanning machines to scan luggage’s and persons, image interpretations, cargo screening, among others.
The Director Human Resources administration Mr Noirs Anozie, thanked the NTC for the confidence reposed in FAAN for training the pioneer trainers to improve security and safety of all passengers at all railway stations in the country.
He charged to put the country forward in their duty post as more would be expected of them by the corporation and indeed Nigerians on whose behalf they have been sent for the training.
The governor of the class, Elizabeth Nkechi Ngunu thanked the corporation for the opportunity to be part of the training and FAAN for the depth of knowledge they were all exposed to during the weeklong training.
She said the training would undoubtedly make them more productive even as she assured that they would undoubtedly replicate all that had been learnt at the training.