Lagos-Kano rail link to be restored soon

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Nigeria’s Federal Government on Tuesday announced that the Lagos- Kano railway line would resume full operations in six weeks after two years of suspended rail transport activities.

Mrs Mary Ikoku, Head of communication, Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowering Programme (SURE-P) announced this in Abuja on Tuesday

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) suspended operations on the route when Akerri Bridge linking the North and South of Nigeria was washed away by floods.

The statement said officials of SURE-P, Nigeria Railway Cooperation (NRC) and Project Implementation Unit of the Federal Ministry of Transport had carried out a thorough inspection of all train stations across the country.

It said Mr Chika Okogwu, the official who led the team of inspectors, stressed the urgent need to get the railway system working again to achieve one of President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda.

“This trip is to ascertain the first phase of work that has been done, following SURE-P’s early release of funds to get the railway system back on track,’’ it stated.

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Okogwu commended the Federal Government for intervening in the project and assured Nigerians that the bridge would be opened in six weeks and the rail lines opened for goods and passengers to move freely again.

In a related development, Mr Eric Onyeiwu, Chairman of the Project Implementation Unit of the Federal Ministry of Transport, expressed satisfaction with the level of work accomplished.

The officials, however, complained about the slow pace of work by some contractors on the site contracted to ESSER Nig Ltd at Asa community in Abia.

The committee started off its visit from Lagos and went through Port Harcourt, Aba, Makurdi, Lafia Kafanchan and Gombe.

Other sites visited were Akerri Bridge and Bridge 73, near Minna, in Niger.

The team stressed that the inspection had enabled it to evaluate work in progress at the various sites for proper decision making. (NAN)

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