The Federal Government assured Nigerians that the contractor handling the construction of Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge double rail track would soon commence actions on the projects. Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar who disclosed in Abuja while inauguration the Board of Directors of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC, said the government is equally working to ensure that the rehabilitation of the Railway line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri is completed this year.
According to the minister, “the Board of the Nigerian Railway Corporation has a great task to perform, especially at this moment when Government is poised to reposition the Railway to play a pivotal role in the transport sector as a significant plank of the Transformation Agenda of Mr. President. In this regard, Government is vigorously pursuing the resuscitation and revitalization of the Nigerian Railway System in line with the 25 Year Railway Strategic Vision containing milestones for future development.
The Vision is being implemented” in three phases namely System Transition, System Modernization and System Stabilisation. In the implementation process, a systematic dual approach is adopted entailing the rehabilitation of the entire existing narrow gauge line simultaneously with development of the standard gauge lines. As you are aware, Nigerians have already started reaping the benefits of the efforts of the Federal Government in revamping the Railway System as evidenced in the commencement of full train services from Lagos to Kano.
This is a great feat achieved after more than two decades of comatose. We are equally working to ensure that the rehabilitation of the Railway line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri is completed this year. Under the modernization phase, the construction of Itakpe – Ajaokuta – Warri and Abuja – Kaduna Standard Gauge Line are in progress and are expected to be completed and commissioned by next year.
The construction of Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Double Track would soon commence following the award of the contract by the Federal Government. As part of the Reforms in the transport sector, the law establishing the Nigerian Railway Corporation is currently undergoing review with the aim of ensuring Private Sector, State and Local Governments participation in the Rail transport sector.
The Bill has been considered and approved by the National Council on Privatisation and will be presented to the Federal Executive Council for consideration and approval before transmission to the National Assembly for legislation.http://www.vanguardngr.com