Federal Government Announces Commencement of Port Harcourt-Aba Train Services by March's End

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Federal Government Announces Commencement of Port Harcourt-Aba Train Services by March's End

In a significant development poised to enhance transportation infrastructure in Nigeria, the Federal Government has declared the imminent commencement of train services on the Port Harcourt to Aba route by the conclusion of March. This initiative marks a pivotal milestone in the broader context of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railroad project, spearheaded by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr. Fidet Okhiria, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), affirmed this announcement during an official briefing in Port Harcourt following a delegation's inspection of the ongoing reconstruction of the Eastern Narrow Gauge Rail Line. He elucidated that diligent efforts are underway to ensure the completion of necessary preparations, with workers meticulously attending to the final touches on the tracks to facilitate seamless train operations within the specified timeline.

Expressing satisfaction with the progress achieved thus far, Okhiria underscored the pivotal role of the transportation sector in driving national development objectives. He emphasized the directive from the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, to expedite the integration of the Port Harcourt route into the rail network, alongside the initiation of connectivity with the Onne Port. Acknowledging the challenges encountered during the project's execution, Okhiria lauded the dedication of the contractors and reaffirmed the commitment to overcoming impediments to ensure timely project completion.

Furthermore, Okhiria delineated the strategic collaboration between NRC and relevant stakeholders, particularly in the design and implementation phases of the project. He outlined plans for the extension of the rail track to the Onne seaport, underscoring the imperative of seamless coordination and adherence to rigorous standards to facilitate optimal project outcomes.

Addressing concerns regarding transport fares, Okhiria candidly acknowledged the potential impact of rising diesel costs on commuter tariffs. He iterated the corporation's endeavor to strike a balance between cost recovery and affordability, leveraging both passenger revenues and strategic cost-sharing arrangements to sustain operational viability.

In tandem with operational considerations, Okhiria emphasized the paramount importance of ensuring the safety and security of passengers and infrastructure. He emphasized collaborative efforts with security agencies to fortify surveillance and deploy advanced security measures along the rail corridors.

In conclusion, Okhiria issued a stern admonition against encroachments on the rail lines, urging compliance with prescribed safety protocols and adherence to designated schedules. As the nation eagerly anticipates the imminent inauguration of Port Harcourt-Aba train services, the concerted efforts of stakeholders underscore a collective commitment to advancing Nigeria's transportation landscape while fostering economic prosperity and social cohesion.

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