FG Declares 4-Day Free Ride On Port-Harcourt -Aba Rail Service


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By Stella Enenche,Abuja

The Minister of Transportation, Senator Said Alkali has declared a four- day free train ride from May 1st to May 4th on the Port- Harcourt – Aba rail service.

He made the declaration while flagging off the 62km rail service, according to a statement made available late Tuesday night by Muhammad Zakari,For the
Director, Press and Public Relations.

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 succour to the great people of this nation,” he said .

The Senator noted that the completion of the project is vital to the socio-economic progression of the country.

This is even 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.

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.

Speaking also at the flag-off, the Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Engr. Fidet Okhiria, 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.

The Minister along with the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMT), Oloruntola Olufemi, Director, Rail Transport Services, FMT, Zirra Finbar, Director, Legal Services, FMT, Pius Oteh, Managing Director, NRC, Engr. Fidet Okhiria, together with traditional rulers, embarked on an assessment and a short ride on the commissioned train service from Port-Harcourt to Aba.


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