We completed Abuja-Kaduna rail project in one year, says Odigie-Oyegun

Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) John Odigie-Oyegun, said yesterday that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government successfully completed the Abuja-Kaduna railway project in just one year.

The APC chief made the disclosure when he and other members of the National Working Committee (NWC) took a test ride on the train from Kubwa to Jere.
He said the project’s speedy completion was achieved within this period, despite attempts by past governments to break the jinx since 2006 when it was first muted.

The chairman explained that thoughj the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan commenced funding of the project, it had however been on the drawing board for a longer time.

The test ride by APC’s big wigs, was to prepare the grounds for its official launch by President Mohammed Buhari on July 26.According to him, the project was successfully prosecuted because of the keen interest of the president, as well as the diligence of Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.

“We are here to demonstrate that government is keen on development of key infrastructure in the country.This particular rail project has been a major concern to the government. The last administration contributed, but they probably didn’t have the competence to complete it,” he said.

On plans to pick passengers from the city center to Idu train station for boarding, the transport minister said efforts are on to organise temporary shuttle systems, pending when the Abuja Light Rail would be completed.The light rail is expected to convey passengers from various parts of the city, such as Mararaba, Kubwa,Gwagwalada and others.

He explained that when completed, it would go a long way in complementing the usefulness of rail transportation, adding the aim is also to support growth of the economy.Managing Director of Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Engr. Fidet Okhiria, told The Guardian that the train engines are diesel-driven.

He added that they would operate at an average of 150-60 kilometers per hour, depending on the convenience and safety judgement of the driver.Okhiria assured that adequate measures were being put in place to ensure that the corporation acquires more coaches to conveniently convey larger number of commuters.He said the project is also expected to open many employment and business opportunities.

Source: Guardian


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