Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari has declared that Nigeria will soon start to enjoy world class train service across the length and breadth of the country.
The President in his New Year message to Nigerians today highlighted the various rail projects ongoing with completion deadlines and economic potentials.
“With regards to Railways, we have set ourselves ambitious targets. Already in construction stage is the Lagos-Kano Standard Gauge Railway.
“The line should reach Ibadan from Lagos by the end of 2019 and will carry two million passengers per year and five million tons of cargo will be transported every year giving a substantial boost to the country’s economy.
“Construction of the Kano – Kaduna segment is expected to commence this year and reach Kaduna by the end of 2019. By the end of 2021 the two ends will be joined so that we will have standard gauge railway across the main North-South trading route.
“The Abuja – Kaduna route will be boosted by additional rolling stock next Thursday and will be able to handle one million commuters annually.”
The President also said negotiations will be concluded in the first part of this year for the Port Harcourt to Maiduguri line covering Aba, Owerri, Umuahia, Enugu, Awka, Abakaliki, Makurdi, Lafia, Jos, Bauchi, Gombe, Yola and Damaturu. According to him, the Abuja to Itakpe line will go through Baro and terminate in Warri with construction of a new seaport at Warri.
He said negotiations are also in advanced stage for the construction of other railway lines, firstly from Kano to Maradi in Niger Republic passing through Kazaure, Daura, Katsina, Jibia to Maradi.
“Secondly, Lagos to Calabar the “Coastal Rail” through Ore, Benin, Agbor, Asaba, Onitsha, Sapele, Ughelli, Warri, Yenagoa, Otuoke, Port Harcourt, Aba, Uyo and Calabar. In the next few years, all these Nigerian cities will be linked by functional modern rail systems, giving enormous boost to the social and economic life of our people.
“With respect to the Abuja Capital Light Rail, progress has reached 98% completion, as at 64% completion when we assumed office. Only test runs remain before start of operations.
“This train service will stimulate economic activities in the Federal Capital and provide residents with an efficient and safe transportation system. Twelve railway sub-stations around the capital over a 45.2 kilometer route will serve as a catalyst and a pull factor to the economy of the area. The Light Rail System will reduce traffic congestion and carbon emission in line with the Administration’s policy on climate change.”