Nigeria’s minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has said a mandate was given by President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the entire country is connected with rail network.
Mr Amaechi made this disclosure at the 2017 15th National Council on Transportation, in Sokoto during a keynote address.
“The President called two of us, myself and my colleague in the Ministry of Works and Power Babatunde Fashola and told me specifically that I must ensure that the 36 States including Abuja are connected by rail”, he said.
The Minister said ongoing rail projects in the country will create employment opportunity for the teeming youths, stating that to grow the economy effectively and efficiently, the railway must be developed.
He disclosed that the Federal Government is on the verge of signing a contract agreement with General Electric for the rehabilitation of rail lines across the country to ensure they are put to use as soon as possible.
Mr Amaechi also disclosed that government had placed order for more locomotives for the standard gauge rail lines.
He stated further that the President has given approval for the construction of Abuja-Itakpe rail line and at the same time preparing to commence commercial activity on the Ajaokuta-Warri line which will be completed in June 2018.
He said the Ministry of Transportation has revived the transport sector reform bills in the National Assembly with the aim of breaking government’s monopoly in the rail sector and to encourage private sector participation in the sector.