• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
businessday logo


FG declares 4-day free ride on Port-Harcourt—Aba train

Said Alkali, minister of transportation, has declared a four-day free train ride from May 1 to May 4, on the Port-Harcourt–Aba rail service.

According to a statement signed by Muhammad Zakari, For the director, press and public relations, the minister made the statement while flagging off the 62 km rail service.

Alkali said the free ride is aimed at encouraging and driving the usage of the train service, adding that commercial services would begin on Tuesday, 7th May, 2024.

The Minister noted that transportation is amongst the eight key priority areas of President Bola Tinubu’s administration, hence his prioritization of the eastern rail corridor project upon assumption of office.

“We are here in Port-Harcourt to commission the train service for Port-Harcourt to Aba. I also want to thank the President and Commander-in-Chief, Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his support and commitment to the Ministry of Transportation and his continuous desire to bring succor to the great people of this nation,” he said

He also said that the completion of the project is vital to the socio-economic progression of the country.

This is as he disclosed that the Port-Harcourt to Maiduguri rehabilitation and reconstruction rail project cuts across the 5 geo-political zones of South-South, South-East, North-Central and the North-West and North East.

In cognizance of current economic realities, the Minister assured that the Ministry is currently assessing a proposition on the retrofitting from diesel-powered locomotives to Liquefied Natural Gas by an investor.

He assured that bringing this to reality will facilitate re-evaluation of current train tickets across the train service corridors.

Also Speaking at the flag-off, Fidet Okhiria, Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), during a media chat, disclosed that the locomotives and coaches used for the flag-off are refurbished ones.

He, however, assured that the contractor Messrs China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) is expected to deliver soon 50 narrow gauge locomotives and 100 narrow gauge coaches to be deployed along existing train corridors in the country.

He encouraged the public of NRC’s commitment to offer better services, adding that containers can also be transported via this channel from Port-Harcourt to Aba.