I will ensure the FG connect Otuoke to seaports by rail- Rotimi Amaechi

In its determined effort to link up states by rail transport, the Federal Government has made Otuoke community in Bayelsa State one of the towns that will benefit from the multibillion naira project expected to turn the country’s economy round when completed.
Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, gave the hint last week in Lagos after a facility tour of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos.
Otuoke, the home town of former President Goodluck Jonathan, according to Amaechi, would be among the towns through which the East-West rail project would connect, commencing its journey from the Obudu Cattle Ranch in Cross River State.
The minister, whose mention of Otuoke in his presentation, elicited laughter, disclosed this while speaking to news men after his inspection of facilities at the airport, where he gave a rundown of the various towns to be linked up through the rail project.
According to him, the rail line would run thus: Obudu-Calabar (Cross River State)-Uyo-Ikot Ekpene (Akwa Ibom)-Aba (Abia)-Port Harcourt (Rivers)-Yenegoa-Otuoke-Yenegoa (Bayelsa)-Ughelli (Delta)-Benin (Edo)-Asaba (Delta)-Ijebu Ode-Sagamu (Ogun)-Lagos, terminating at the Lagos port of Apapa.
He said that in all cases, the rail links must terminate at the seaports, even as he announced the Lagos-Kano line to link: Lagos-Ibadan-Ilorin-Minna-Abuja-Kaduna-Kano.
The minister added that the commencement of work on the rail lines, to be made of standard gauge, would start from the first quarter of 2016 and told the media to hold the government accountable for the pronouncements.
He pointed out that the rail project alone would create 250,000 direct jobs for the teeming Nigerian unemployed youths and more indirect others.
The former Rivers State Governor regretted that the country’s rail system had been down because of decay resulting from ‘poor policy initiatives’, adding that the Buhari administration was set to revive the sector and give a breather to the roads.
On port development, he said it was a private sector-driven venture and that the administration would run it as such and assured that the bills that would drive the sector would soon be sponsored and seen to logical conclusion at the National Assembly (NASS).
According to him, the bills include the National Transport Commission (NTC), Ports and Harbours, Railway Act Amendment, among others.
He pointed out that one thing that could actually galvanise the sector 
for its huge potentials to be fully tapped, was the establishment of a national carrier, which presently was absent.
On the perennial Apapa gridlock, Amaechi said he had visited the Lagos ports but to his surprise, could not see the much talked about traffic melee, saying that on the day of his visit, he was looking forward to encountering it but never saw anything like that.
He however promised that his ministry would work closely with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), critical stakeholders, Ministry of Works and Lagos State government to find a permanent solution to the problem.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has declared that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) will be restructured to perform its core function, noting that the agency should have nothing to do with the establishment of universities. Minister of Transportation, Amaechi, made the declaration at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos, media briefing.
He said the agency was a disappointment as it had left its main functions to dabble into other issues like the establishment of universities and institutes of studies; hence there was the need for a total overhaul of the agency.
The minister, who spoke while briefing journalists at the end of the tour, however did not say if the government was going to discontinue with the first ever maritime university at Kurutie, Warri South Local Government Area, Delta State.
The establishment of the Nigerian Maritime University (NMU) has been a subject of controversy in recent times following the eye-popping N13 billion said to have been expended for the acquisition of the site from the community.
However, the community recently came out to say that what they got out of the said amount was N360 million compensation and threw its weight behind President Muhammadu Buhari’s probe of the N13 billion alleged to have been paid to Government Oweize Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, for the land acquisition.

Share on Google Plus
    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment


  1. I didn't see any mention of ondo or ekiti states. We have cocoa, bitumen etc.or are we not in Nigeria anymore?

    1. Am sure the process will continue till all states are linked by railways..