President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered that the newly commissioned Itakpe-Warri railway be extended to link with Abuja, creating a direct line between the north and south, and should be completed before the end of his tenure as President in May 2023.
Buhari gave the directive during the commissioning of the 326km Itakpe Warri Railway and ancillary facility yard from the Conference Hall of the State House in Abuja, yesterday.
He further directed that the railway stations be renamed after Nigerians who have contributed immensely to nation-building, and commended all who made the project a success in its 33 years of creation, urging host the communities to maximise the potential the rail line avails them.
“I have approved the prioritisation of viable railway routes for either new rail lines or the reconstruction and rehabilitation of some, to achieve effective and efficient train services supporting the country’s trade and commerce.
“The Railway Infrastructure that I have the honour to commission today is the rail line from Itakpe via the steel town complex of Ajaokuta to Warri, and is an important link for the country’s economy as the central rail line.
“This government has also approved to link this line further from Itakpe to Abuja, thereby connecting the northern zone of the country and also extending southwards to link the Warri Ports,” he said.
He listed the axes covered by the project as Adamu Attah Station, Itakpe; Abubakar Olusola Saraki Station, Ajaokuta; Augustus Aikhomu Station, Itogbo; George Innih Station, Agenebode; Anthony Enahoro Station, Uromi; Tom Ikimi Station, Ekehen and Samuel Ogbemudia Station, Igbanke.
Others are Goodluck Jonathan Railway Complex, Agbor, Owa-Oyibu; David Ejoor Station, Abraka; Michael Ibru Station, Opara; Alfred Rewane Station, Ujevwu; and Michael Akhigbe Railway Village, Agbor.
In his remarks, Delta State governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, commended Buhari’s bi-partisan approach to governance, saying “it is a thing of pride and joy that this rail line was completed under your watch.
He said the Ika nation is glad of the recognition accorded former President Goodluck Jonathan in naming the railway complex in Agbor after him.
In his remarks, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said the project was fully funded by the Nigerian government, adding that 8 of the 10 stations are in the Niger-Delta/ South-South region of the country.
“There is no loan on this project, it was funded from the budget and I had the directive of the president to go and revive it and complete it as soon as possible,” he said.
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