Federal Government has said that the construction of Abuja (Idu)-Kaduna
Standard guage rail line is 85 percent complete and would be delivered by December this year.
The Minister of Transport, Senator Idiris Umar, said this in Abuja at the 2014 Ministerial Press briefing on the programmes and projects of the ministry and its agencies. He said the ministry has been working in the past two years to provide the nation alternative transport system with the railway.
He said that out of the projected 187.5km rail line, the ministry has achieved 155 km, adding that the remaining 32 km would be completed and delivered by the end of this year.
He said that the Abuja-Kaduna standard guage rail project was funded with the $500 million facilities from the China Exim Bank.
Also, he said that the construction and the rehabilitation of Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri standard guage rail line would be completed by the second quarter of 2015, adding that the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan standard guage (double track) 2 x 180km had been awarded and would commence as soon as funding arrangement is concluded. He said the ministry has also awarded rehabilitation contracts to the tune of N1.616 trillion covering 1,796 km rail lines.
“These include the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan 180km standard guage valued at $1.53 billion, awarded to CCECC Nig. Ltd; the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri standard guage line covering 274km, awarded to Julius Berger at a cost of N33.1 billion; the Lagos-Kano modernisation rail project, awarded to CCECC Nig. Ltd. at a cost of $8.3 billion covering 1,342.50km, out of which $257.4 million has been paid by the federal government.
Through the Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC and with the administration’s determination to revive and modernise the railway system in line with the 25-year strategic vision to bring back the railways to remove the pressure on roads, the rail lines are getting renewed attention, which was unprecedented since the 1980s.”
Giving further update on ministry’s achievements, Senator Umar said the main target was to connect the six geopolitical zones via speed rails so as to make transportation of persons and goods easier and less stressful.”
He said the number of passengers’ conveyed by rail line increased from 4,155,988 in 2012 to 4,328,789 in 2013 with a projection of over 5,000,000 passengers by the end of 2014.
“This was as a result of increased stabilisation of the tracks after completion of rehabilitation of the Western line.
“The target set for delivery of freight and passenger services in 2013 were substantially achieved. More coaches and wagons are required to meet the high demands for the service”, the minister said