Minister of Transport, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi has assured Nigerians that the Abuja-Kaduna railway will start normal operation at the end of March 2016 even as he promised that the Lagos-Kano services will commence this year.
The minister made this known during an inspection tour to the rail modernisation project in Abuja.
Mr. Amaechi, who was optimistic that the President will flag off the commercial activity of the railway very soon, said the Nigerian Railway Cooperation, NRC, will make use of the track of Abuja Light ways, owned by FCT administration, to carry passengers from Abuja to Kaduna instead of moving all the way from the city centre to Idu. This, according to him, will ease the stress passengers will go through before travelling to Kaduna.
“We will start a test-run of the train from March. And it should be free for people travelling from Abuja to Kaduna within March and April. By May we hope that the President will flag off the commercial activity of this rail, by that those who actually want to go to Kaduna by rail will use our services.
“The rail is designed to start from here because Abuja light way is expected to start from Abuja, they will carry passengers and stop them here and they will join our train but since they are not ready we are going to use their track to pick passengers from Abuja,” he said.
After travelling on train from Idu to Bwari Area Council, the minister said that the project is in 100% completion stage, stressing that the work site was abandoned for a long time because the contractors complained of non-payment.
Mr. Amaechi however assured that the government will do everything possible to ensure the deadline is met as according to him, railway construction is one of the priorities of the present administration.
The transport minister added that the railway will be fenced from Abuja to Kaduna in order to stop human and animal activities on the track.
“Our cultural background affects out construction in Nigerian. You saw the speed of the trail, it was very slow because we are afraid of animals that may enter the track. So because of this we are going to fence the railway from Abuja to Kaduna to stop any animal or human activities on the railways,” Amaechi explained.
In his remark, the Managing Director of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, CCECC, the company handling the project, Mr. Jack Li assured the minister that the work will be completed at the end of March this year.

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