Minister of Transportation, Chief Rotimi Amaechi, on Saturday reiterated the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to completing the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail project by December 2018.
Amaechi also added that operations will commence on narrow gauge railway to run from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri by October 2, this year, saying it will be the first economically viable station, Vanguard writes.
The minister made the disclosure at a symposium in Abuja where he agreed with Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, that effective railway and road infrastructure will go a long way in addressing the poverty situation in the country.
They appeared as panelists at the Osasu Show Symposium organised by the Osasu Show Foundation under the theme: “The new economy and its impact on less privileged citizens”,and posited that Africa’s largest economy needed functional roads and railways infrastructure to enhance business transactions.
“When you finish production in a place like Aba, and the market is in Lagos, how do you transport it to Lagos? You charter a plane or you go by bad road. So, government now say, ‘Can we make the Nigerian environment conducive for economic growth?’”Amaechi said.
“And what are we doing? The first thing we are doing to how to diversify the economy. To diversify the economy is not by word of mouth, what the politicians do when they want to campaign”.
The Buhari administration has been committed to revitalizing the country’s moribund railway transportation, and he recently signed a number of projects including a rail line from Kano to his hometown in Daura.
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