By Lucy Ogalue
Mr Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, has described the various achievements in the sector to the dedication of President Muhammadu Buhari towards uplifting the standard of living of Nigerians.
In an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Amaechi said among the achievements was the introduction of military personnel in the country’s waterways to ensure security and reduce the plight of transporters.
“You can see there are waves of complaints about what’s happening in the waters.
“We are beginning to introduce the military in the waters, meaning that all those criminal activities in the waterways will either be eliminated or reduced drastically and we are very happy about that.
“We are happy that we have completed the Abuja to Kaduna rail, we are happy that we are near completion of Lagos to Ibadan rail and also near completion of Itape to Warri rail,” Amaechi said.
He however said the major setback for the Lagos to Ibadan Rail project was completion of the various stations along the route.
He said: “Once they (contractors) complete the stations we are good to go. It will take time to build the blocks, fix the roof and so, it’s a matter of time. We believe that it should be ready by January.”
On expectations for the coming year, Amaechi said the Ministry planned to complete the various projects and moving on to new ones.
“We expect to complete all these projects and move on to Ibadan to Kano. We are going to work extremely hard in Ibadan to Kano to make sure we finish before we leave.
“We believe we will commence work on Lagos to Calabar, hopefully commence work on Abuja-Warri and also hopefully we will get the presidential approval to commence work on Portharcourt-Maiduguri,” Amaechi added.
On the Itape-Warri Rail services, the minister said commercial activities had began, but the coaches had to be moved to the Abuja -Kaduna route due to pressure from that axis.
Amaechi said: “We have started commercial activities until we started encountering pressure on Kaduna-Abuja route.
“We then looked at the number of passengers we were encountering and decided to transfer the coaches of Itape-Warri to Kaduna-Abuja route hoping that in January once we have more coaches, then we will send some to Itape-Warri.”