Transportation Minister, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, Tuesday, assured Nigerians that the proposed Lagos-Ibadan segment of the Lagos-Kano rail line project will be ready and operational within the next two and half years.
According to Amaechi, the Port Harcourt-Calabar rail line will also be ready within the same ready.
The minister made this known at a maiden lecture series, themed; “Migrating workforce: the challenges of mass transportation,” organised by the Lagos Traffic Radio (96.1 FM), at Lagos Television, LTV, ground, Ikeja. He said the aim is to reduce the current pressure on road infrastructure with resultant accidents and avoidable loss of lives.
Amaechi also disclosed that the federal government plans to open up the rail transportation system to the active participation of the private sector. He said a bill to realise this has been forwarded to the National Assembly and currently receiving consideration.
The minister said the plan is to ultimately ensure that the rail system takes the centre stage in the nation’s public transportation system, with the private sector playing a pivotal role, unlike in the past where rail transportation was exclusive to the public sector.
Speaking further, Amaechi said there are also plans to further open up the maritime space for private sector involvement. He disclosed that proposals had been received from entities indicating interest to ply the water transportation system, and called on the Lagos State Government to take advantage of the open window by partnering with the federal in the development of the inland waterways.