FG commences 2044.1km Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri rail project

Written by on April 11, 2022

The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced it has commenced reconstruction of the Eastern rail line, which links Port Harcourt with Maiduguri.

The Federal Government has mobilised the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) to the site to commence construction of the 2044.1km Port Harcourt-Maiduguri narrow gauge railway project.

The project, which is expected to gulp $3 billion, will link states in the southern part of Nigeria down to the north through the eastern states.

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who inspected the commencement of work on Sunday, said the expectation is that the laying of rail tracks may get to the Enugu State capital by September 2022.

The Minister, who recently declared intentions to contest the 2023 Presidency, was accompanied on the inspection by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Magdalene Ajani; Engr. Fidet Okhiria, the Managing Director; Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) among others.

All these come despite recent attacks on the railway facility linking Abuja-Kaduna where bandits abducted some passengers and killed at least eight others.

Amaechi said, “When it was inugurated, enough fund was not given to them. Now they have some level of funding, I hope we can secure the fund before they exhaust what they have”.

He hinted that some of the stations where passengers will join the train or disembark are yet to be approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

The Minister equally noted that whenever standard gauges are to be constructed on the line, it should be built in such a way that both the narrow gauge and standard gauge could share the same infrastructure.

He also insisted that more security is required to forestall any form of delay that may arise as a result of agitations from locals.

Amaechi said he expected CCECC to have cleared the track up to Imo River,

Recall that the Federal Government on the 10th of March, 2021 kick-started the $3 billion rehabilitation and reconstruction of the 1,443-kilometer (897-mile) Eastern Railway Line that starts from the southeastern oil hub of Port Harcourt and terminates at the northeastern city of Maiduguri.

It is expected to link Nigeria’s industrial and agriculture hubs, facilitating the easy movement of people, goods and services.

When fully functional, it will connect Rivers, Abia, Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kaduna, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe and Borno states respectively.

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