The first ever standard gauge rail track and train services have been commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
The railway station itself is situated in the industrial area of Idu, Abuja in the Federal capital territory which is also not far from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport from there, cargoes could be conveyed to the country’s hinterland.
President Buhari who could not hide his happiness over the project also went down memory lane saying “it is on record that between 1963 and early ‘80s, Nigeria had a vibrant rail system which conveyed agricultural and livestock and solid mineral resources to Lagos and Port Harcourt sea ports from where they are exported to other parts of the world. It is our vision and hope that those good old days will soon be back with us and indeed in a more prosperous way with the restoration of rail transport system which today’s occasion symbolizes”.
The president praised the foresight of the Minister of transportation and the ruling party in ensuring the completion of the project which started about 16 years ago.
“The Minister of Transportation, Chief Rotimi Amaechi and his team have put great efforts in the last few months to ensure the successful completion of this project under this Administration. Completion and Commissioning of this project is indeed in keeping with our vision of bringing about the desired change to make life easier for the generality of Nigerians through the development and provision of the
necessary social and physical infrastructure”.
The president assured Nigerians that most State capitals and major commercial and production centres will be linked with railway system as a way of bringing about rapid socio-economic development and improving the quality of life of the Nigerians and promoting social & regional integration.
He said that due attention will be placed on pursuing the 25-Year Strategic Railway Master Plan which is aimed at rehabilitating the existing 3,505km narrow gauge rail line and developing and constructing new standard gauge rail lines across the country.
President Buhari reiterated the commitment of his Administration to “pursue with greater vigour and determination rehabilitation and construction of other rail lines including the major Lagos-Calabar and Kano-Lagos lines”.