Gift Samuel and Daniels Nwokike
The Sight News, Kaduna
The Abuja-Kaduna railway which is Nigeria’s first ever standard gauge railway has since become the most preferred mode of transportation between Abuja and Kaduna since its commissioning in July 2016.
This is evident in the massive turn out of passengers and goods on daily basis to the different terminals from the Idu terminal in Abuja to Rigasa, the final stop in Kaduna, as demand far outweighs the supply.
It is on this premise, in order to mitigate the imbalance in the demand and supply relationship witnessed in the sector, that the federal government led by Mr President, Muhammad Buhari (GCFR), dimmed it necessary to increase supply to meet up with the demands.
This was achieved by adding more locomotives that will convey passengers and goods from Abuja straight to Kaduna, with only one stop at Kubwa train station and vice versa and also another set of locomotives that will make a brief stop at every train station to pick up and drop off passengers and goods.
Speaking in Kaduna on Thursday at the commissioning of the additional locomotives, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr Muhammadu Buhari reassured Nigerians of his administration’s resolve to bring all-round development to the citizens in order to bridge the huge gap that exists in Nigeria’s infrastructures.
“Additional critical projects which I particularly picked out include the coastal rail lines from Lagos to Calabar with branches in Benin, Agbor and Onitsha; PortHarcourt to Maiduguri standard gauge rail lines with branches in Warri, Awka, Abakaliki, Yola and Damaturu”, he said.
Mr president also added that rail lines from Kano to Kazaure, Daura, Katsina, and some other cities in Niger Republic will commence in earnest this year as part of regional interconnectivity and also to boost trade and commerce in the region.
He reiterated that his administration’s resolve to continue to develop Nigeria’s railway system can not be deterred as he appreciated the Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon Chibuike Amechi for his doggedness in the ministry and also the stakeholders who have played a major part in the continued development of the country’s railway system.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon Chibuike Amechi poured accolades on the president for his commitment in revitalizing Nigeria’s railway sector.
“This service has continued to be a success story and served as evidence that this government is committed to delivering an efficient rail system that will meet the provisions of Nigerians”, the minister said.
The commissioning was well attended by ministers, senators, governors and other stake holders in both private and public sectors.