The construction of Abuja (Idu)-Kaduna Standard guage rail line is 85 percent complete and would be delivered by December this year.
This was made known by the Minister of Transport, Senator Idiris Umar, who spoke about the activities of his ministry, at the 2014 Ministerial Press briefing in Abuja.
According to him, the transport ministry has been working assiduously over the last two years, to provide an alternative transport system with the railway.
He said that out of the projected 187.5km rail line, the ministry has achieved 155 km. The minister said that the remaining 32 km would be completed and delivered by the end of this year.
Speaking further, Umar said that the construction and the rehabilitation of Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri standard guage rail line would be completed by the second quarter of 2015, adding that the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan standard guage (double track) 2 x 180km had been awarded and would commence as soon as funding arrangement was concluded. He said the ministry has also awarded rehabilitation contracts worth N1.616 trillion covering 1,796 km rail lines.
“These include the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan 180km standard guage valued at $1.53 billion, awarded to CCECC Nig. Ltd; the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri standard guage line covering 274km, awarded to Julius Berger at a cost of $33.1 billion; the Lagos-Kano modernisation rail project, awarded to CCECC Nig. Ltd. at a cost of $8.3 billion covering 1,342.50km, out of which $257.4 million has been paid by the federal government.
“Through the Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC and with the administration’s determination to revive and modernise the railway system in line with the 25-year strategic vision to bring back the railways to remove the pressure on roads, the rail lines are getting renewed attention, which was unprecedented since the 1980s.”
“Giving further update on ministry’s achievements, Senator Umar said the main target was to connect the six geopolitical zones via speed rails so as to make transportation of persons and goods easier and less stressful.”
He said the number of passengers’ conveyed by rail line increased from 4,155,988 in 2012 to 4,328,789 in 2013 with a projection of over 5,000,000 passengers by the end of 2014.