Ensure all regions benefit from railway inter-connectivity, NASS tells FG
As complaints of the eastern half of the country on apparent negligence in the ongoing railway projects by the Federal Government rage on, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Transportation, Mr Abdulmumin Jibrin and members have urged the supervising Minister, Rotimi Amaechi and his team to ensure that all parts of the country benefited from the national railway inter-connectivity project.
Before now, there had been strong allegation by states in the South East and South South regions on official negligence of the axis even as major attention continues to trail railway schemes on the western half.
Some of the ongoing railway schemes on the western half include Lagos-Ibadan, Idu- Kaduna standard gauge rail line, Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri rail line even as work on Iju-Lagos rail line would be completed by January 2019.
Also, Jos-Bauchi and Gombe rail line and Itakpe-Ilorin rail line, among others are all ongoing.
However, to douse tension on the growing divisive feeling in terms of railway projects marginalization, the Minister told the lawmakers that the Federal Government is working on the construction of a coastal rail line from Lagos, through Ijebu Ode, Ore and Benin City, to Onne Port in Rivers State.
Amaechi also said the Federal Government would soon connect the Federal Capital Territory and the capitals of the 36 states with rail lines.
He made the presentation during the ‘Brief on the Formation Objectives, Achievements, Challenges and Way Forward for Railway Property Management Company Limited (a subsidiary of Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC)’ which he presented to the House of Representatives Committee on Land Transport.
According to him, “We are looking at the coastal rail lines that the previous government of President Goodluck Jonathan awarded that connects from Lagos to Ijebu-Ore-Benin, then from Benin to Agbor-Asaba back to Benin to link Sapele-Warri-Yenagoa-Onne Port.”
The minister claimed that the drive to connect major cities in Nigeria through functional rail lines was part of the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plans 2018-2020.