THE implementation of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Rail project of the Eastern rail line which connects Port Harcourt in the Niger Delta to Maiduguri in the northeastern state of Borno, near the border with Chad is planned to commence as soon as the Lagos-Ibadan railway project is complete, hopefully by December this year.
According to the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the planned commencement is subject to approval by the Federal Executive Council. Other projects in the pipeline include the Kano/Maradi line, which passes through Kano, Dutse, Kazaure, Daura, Katsina, Jibiya, Maradi, and the Ibadan to Kano section of the Lagos to Kano rail line.
‘We are also pursuing the loan for the contract which has been awarded for the Lagos to Calabar rail line that will pass through Akure, Benin, Agbor, Asaba, and to Onitsha. And to Ughelii, Warri, Yenagoa, Port Harcourt, Aba, Uyo and Calabar,” said Amaechi.
Lagos-Ibadan railway project
The minister made the revelation during the monthly inspection tour of the 156km Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail project whose rail tracks laying has been complete with the construction of stations underway.
Amaechi expressed satisfaction with the construction of the stations along the line except for the Ibadan station. However, he said that the contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), has vowed to deliver three major stations by the end of September, all the seven minor stations by the end of October, and the entire project by the end of December.
The construction of the rail infrastructure began in February 2011 and the railway is expected to provide far-reaching economic benefits and commercial transformation for the country when operational.
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