• Monday, May 27, 2024
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Itakpe-Warri rail line testimony of Buhari’s resolve to improve infrastructure – Julius Berger

Itakpe-Warri rail line testimony of Buhari’s resolve to improve infrastructure – Julius Berger

The success of the Itakpe-Warri rail line project, which was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, is a clear testimony of the president’s resolve to provide and improve lasting infrastructural amenities that impact positively on lives of citizens across the length and breadth of Nigeria, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc has said.

Lars Richter, managing director, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, said this in a goodwill message for the inauguration of the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri railway facilities.

Richter, who was represented by Zubairu Ibrahim Bayi, Julius Berger’s executive director (Administration), congratulated the president as well as the minister of transportation on the success of the project.

Tracing the history of the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri railway project, Richter said it began in 1987 when the contract for the construction of 51Km railway line linking the Itakpe Iron Ore mine with Ajaokuta Steel Mill was awarded to Julius Berger. The contract was later extended to include from Ajaokuta to Warri (Aladja Steel Plant and Jetty).

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The contracts which were originally domiciled with the then Federal Ministry of Mines, Power and Steel, he said, were eventually transferred to the Federal Ministry of Transport when the project was restructured to include transportation of passengers along Itakpe-Warri corridor in addition to the original concept of freight movement service for the steel industry.

The further expanded scope of work included the construction of a section of railway formation and laying of tracks from near Agbarho to Delta Steel Mill at Ovwian/Aladja; completion of 20 overpasses and bridges; and construction of level crossings, hydraulic drainage structures and associated works, he said.

He announced that the 22km track-laying work from Ovu to Aladja has been completed and the overbridges and overpasses have also been successfully accomplished.

The completed railway and railway service facilities, he said, include the maintenance workshop and warehouse, the vehicle maintenance depot and workshop; the railway trucks refuelling station; first aid station, and the furnished railway station offices.

Other completed works are the renovation and refurbishment of the railway village comprising school building, clinic, recreational facilities, fire station, police station, and other ancillary buildings.

“I am humbled to announce to this gathering that these structures mentioned above were constructed in accordance with international due diligence and best practice, a hallmark of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc,” Richter said.

He prayed that the end-users of the facilities would put them to use with the highest maintenance culture as a guide with a view to justifying the huge investment made by the government to put up these structures and its services.

He acknowledged the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, “for his kind and selfless work as well as nationalistic zeal” which lead to the successful realisation of the project, and also expressed Julius Berger’s gratitude to all the hardworking civil servants, community leaders, suppliers, youths, the company’s highly valuable workforce, and every stakeholder who contributed to the success of the project.