Port Harcourt-Aba train service begins operation April – FG


The Federal Government has postponed the commencement of the train services on the Port Harcourt to Maiduguri rail line till April.

The Port Harcourt-Aba rail project is part of the larger Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail project initiated by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

It was meant to commence operations by the end of March.

Meanwhile, contrary to the initial announcement, the Minister for Transportation, Saidu Alkali, announced the new date in Port-Harcourt on Friday shortly after inspecting the reconstructed rail tracks.

Alkali said the postponement was due to a delay on the part of the contractor handling the project, adding that it would be delivered in April.

“This is the second time I am in Port Harcourt for the inspection of the rail line since I assumed office as the Minister of Transportation.

“They gave us March for commencement of operation, but am sure while they were doing the inspection, there were some observations, and because of exigencies and technicalities of the work, it has been extended to April, because March is already 29 today.

“They had given us a definite commitment that by April, they will be able to put Port Harcourt to Aba into use, and it is not only Port Harcourt to Aba alone, I am trying also to get the commitment of how soon they can link the rail line to Port Harcourt Port and also Onne Port so that we would be able to start from the two seaports to Aba.

“Not really that I am not satisfied with the level of work done, but you know when somebody has given you a deadline, and the deadline didn’t really work, of course, you will be dissatisfied with the failed deadline he gave you ab initio. But if somebody promises you March and is able to deliver in April, I think you can manage with that,” Alkali said.

He emphasised the President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government’s commitment to delivering all ongoing projects across the country.

He noted, “Because of the commitment of the government, we have decided to start with the 15 per cent component of the federal government to fix Port Harcourt to Aba section of the railway, and we are now trying to fix the line to Port Harcourt and Onne Ports.”

He added that efforts were ongoing to finalise the funding for the Calabar-Enugu-Abuja standard gauge rail line.

He also said that the Ibadan to Abuja section of the standard gauge rail line was currently being sorted out by the government.

“We are trying to sort out the financing because there is no way you can start the project without making all arrangements for the finances, so as soon as the finance is ready, we are going to start.

“As I said earlier, this is the second time we are coming here for inspection, and Port Harcourt is in this part of the country, and that alone shows how serious and committed we are to delivering the projects in all parts of the country, ” he stated.

He urged the public to stay calm and back the government which remains steadfast in providing relief to the people.

The Punch

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *