Home News Buhari Orders Construction Of Rail Network To Link Nation’s Ports

Buhari Orders Construction Of Rail Network To Link Nation’s Ports


By Chibuike Nwabuko

Abuja (Sundiata Post) –  President Muhammadu Buhari on has ordered the Federal Minis­try of Transportation to link all the rail networks for ease of conveying goods from one location of Nigeria to the area where is mostly needed.

He said this at the virtual inauguration of the 326-kilo­metre Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri rail line for commercial oper­ation as well as the ancillary facilities yard at the recently named Goodluck Jonathan Railway Complex in Agbor (Owa-Oyibu), Delta State.

The president expressed optimism that the rail net­work project, when carried out, would significantly im­prove overall transportation and economic capacities.

He declared that his ad­ministration recognised the importance of the railway mode of transportation as a vital backbone to support in­dustrialization and economic development.

“Accordingly, I have ap­proved the prioritization of viable railway routes for either new rail lines or the reconstruction and rehabil­itation of some, to achieve effective and efficient train services supporting the coun­try’s trade and commerce.

“The railway infrastruc­ture that I have the honour to commission today is the rail line from Itakpe via the steel town complex of Ajaokuta to Warri, and is an important link for the country’s econo­my as the central rail line.

“This government has also approved to link this line further from Itakpe to Abuja, thereby, connecting the North­ern zone of the country and also extending southwards to link the Warri Ports,” he said.

The president expressed confidence that the project, which serves as a vital link of South-South geopolitical zones of the country to the Northern zones, would be completed during the tenure of this administration.

“It will link people across the cultural divides and ex­pand the frontier of trade and commerce, which will lead to better standards of living for our citizens,” he said.

Buhari recalled that to fur­ther give recognition to Nige­rian sons and daughters who had distinguished themselves at nation building and develop­ment, 11 railway stations and railway village were named after some deserving citizens.

He listed them as follows: Adamu Attah Station, Itak­pe; Abubakar Olusola Saraki Station, Ajaokuta; Augustus Aikhomu Station, Itogbo; George Innih Station, Agen­ebode; Anthony Enahoro Station, Uromi; Tom Ikimi Station, Ekehen and Samuel Ogbemudia Station, Igbanke.

Others are Goodluck Jon­athan Railway Complex, Ag­bor, Owa-Oyibu; David Ejoor Station, Abraka; Michael Ibru Station, Opara; Alfred Rewane Station, Ujevwu; and Michael Akhigbe Railway Vil­lage, Agbor.

He enjoined all Nigerians in the transportation indus­try, especially the railway sub-sector, to continue to sup­port government in its stride to achieve other railway infra­structure projects.

He also enlisted the sup­port of all at realizing this milestone of a functional and full-fledged central rail­way, after more than 30 years during which the project had suffered several setbacks and false starts.

“I implore those who work on this line to uphold mainte­nance and safety culture nec­essary for long-lasting service in this difficult terrain.

“By the same token, I urge other sectors who will be pri­mary beneficiaries of this transportation backbone, including, the iron and steel sector, stakeholders in agri­cultural and mining sectors on this corridor, as well as the host communities to protect and sustain this infrastruc­ture and maximize the bene­fits that could be derived from it and which is readily avail­able at their doorsteps.

“This project will increase the volume of their trade and kick start and resuscitate the iron and steel complexes.

“All these, I hope will im­prove our industrial poten­tials and capacities as well as boost employment,” he said.

Buhari said projections indicated that the commence­ment of operation of the Ita­kpe-Ajaokuta-Warri rail line would account for close to one million passengers an­nually and also unleash ap­proximately 3.5 million tons capacity of freight annually that will service all off-takers on the corridor and beyond.

While congratulating the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and his team on successfully complet­ing the project, the president recognized the host communi­ties on this corridor for their patience during the long wait of over 30 years for the reali­zation of the project.

Earlier, the Minister of Transportation, Amaechi, had revealed that the project was fully funded by the Nige­rian government, adding that eight of the ten stations are in the Niger-Delta/South-South region of the country.

“There is no loan on this project, it was funded from the budget and I had the directive of the president to go and re­vive it and complete it as soon as possible,” he said.

In his remarks, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta com­mended President Buhari’s bi-partisan approach to gov­ernance, saying, “It is a thing of pride and joy that this rail line was completed under your watch

“Deltans are excited that this day has come,” he said.

Also speaking at the event, Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo congratulated the president on the feat of completing the project, saying, “It is quite fortuitous that few days to the country’s 60th independence celebration, the president has achieved the completion of this critical infrastructure.”


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