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Federal Government Orders Linking of Port Harcourt-Aba Rail Line to onne Ports for Freight Operations

Federal Government Orders Linking of Port Harcourt-Aba Rail Line to onne Ports for Freight Operations Nigeria Railway Corporation Set to Transform Services with Night Operations Expansion You can now Take a Train from PH to Aba and Fro

The Federal Government has ordered the linking of the Port Harcourt-Aba rail line to the Port Harcourt and Onne Ports in Rivers State for freight operations to commence.

The announcement was made by the Minister of Transportation, Senator Saidu Alkali, during his visit to Port Harcourt on Friday, where he inspected the progress of the Port Harcourt-Aba Railway track reconstruction.

Senator Alkali revealed that while the construction of the rail line has reached an advanced stage of completion, the commencement of train operations within the route, initially scheduled for March 2024, would be postponed to April due to some technical issues. Expressing his disappointment at the delay, the Minister emphasized the importance of meeting deadlines in infrastructure projects.

“This is the second time I have come to Port Harcourt for the inspection of the rail line since I assumed office as the Minister of Transportation,” Senator Alkali stated. “While they gave us March as the deadline, I’m sure while they are doing the inspection, you witnessed when I was trying to extract a commitment from the consultant and the contractor because the last time I was here, they said March, but because of some exigencies and technicalities of the work, they may extend it to April.”

Despite the setback, Senator Alkali assured that the contractors have provided a definite commitment to completing the project by early April. He acknowledged the challenges posed by financing but reiterated the government’s unwavering commitment to completing all rail line projects, including standard and narrow gauge, across the country.

“The contract for the standard gauge was awarded by the past administration, so when we took over, we were trying to sort out the financing,” Senator Alkali explained. “There is no way you can start a project without making all the arrangements for finances, so as soon as the finances are ready, we are going to start.”

Highlighting the importance of the rail line in facilitating trade and economic development, Senator Alkali directed the contractor to expedite the linking of the Port Harcourt rail to the Port Harcourt Port and Onne Port for freight operations to commence. He emphasized the government’s commitment to developing critical infrastructure projects to stimulate economic growth and improve the livelihoods of Nigerians.

The Port Harcourt-Aba rail line project is part of the government’s efforts to modernize and expand the country’s transportation network. Once operational, it is expected to ease the movement of goods and passengers between Port Harcourt, Aba, and other cities in the region. Additionally, the integration of the rail line with the ports will streamline freight logistics and reduce transportation costs for businesses.

Stakeholders have welcomed the government’s decision to prioritize the completion of the rail line and its linkage to the ports. They believe that improved transportation infrastructure will stimulate economic activity, attract investment, and create job opportunities for Nigerians. However, they have urged the government to address any remaining challenges promptly to ensure the timely completion of the project.

As the government continues to invest in infrastructure development, Nigerians remain hopeful that initiatives like the Port Harcourt-Aba rail line will contribute to the country’s overall socio-economic development. The successful completion of the project will underscore the government’s commitment to delivering tangible benefits to citizens and promoting inclusive growth across the nation.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.
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