Ahead of the inauguration of the new Abuja-Kaduna rail line on July 26, residents of Rigasa in Kaduna metropolis are upbeat over the project, saying it will boost social and economic activities in the area.
Some of the residents said in separate interviews that the rail line which has its terminal in the area, has began to attract businesses to the community.
The Chairman of Igabi Local Government, Jabir Khamis, said on Sunday that the coming of modern rail services to the area “is a blessing to the state, local government and the host community.”
Khamis noted that the train service would not only lead to establishment of businesses, but also open up new areas of revenue generation to the local council.
According to him, such economic boost will help to provide employment to people in the area.
The council chairman, disclosed that already, the National Union of Road Transport Workers, had applied for a plot of land to build a motor park near the rail terminal.
Also speaking, the Ward Head of Rigasa, Alhaji Yakubu Muhammad, said the project would lead to huge boost to the economy of the area.
He however urged the government to construct a road to link the railway station to the Kaduna western bypass, for easy movement.
“We appeal to the government to build the road that is linking the rail station and the expressway.
“We also appeal to the state government to transform the Rigasa market to a modern one because of its strategic location.”
The ward head, who is also the Sarkin Nasarawan Rigasa, commended the Federal Government for making the project a reality, adding that “it is a dream come true.”
Muhammad noted that since the Nigeria Railway Corporation began test-run of the track, the security situation in the area has tremendously improve.
The Chairman, Rigasa Community Development Association, Mustapha Alhassan told NAN that the community is facing serious challenges in the area of potable water and electricity.
Alhassan said for the past 13 years, the area has no pipe borne water.
“The coming of modern railway to our location will bring about transformation and integration.
“Already people are moving into the area from across the country, irrespective of religion or ethnic affliation; it will certainly boost economic activities.”
He urged youth in the area to take advantage of the railway terminal, to engage in decent businesses and add value to their lives.
A resident, Abubakar Mohammad, described the N600 transport fare on the train from Kaduna to Abuja as “reasonably cheap”.
Mohammad advised that enough security personnel be deployed to conduct proper security check of passengers before boarding.
“You can see how traders are displaying their goods for passengers to buy at the terminal, it is an indication of the positive impact the train services will have here.”