The Minister of Transport, Idris Umar, has assured Nigerians that railway operations from Port-Harcourt to Maiduguri will commence in November, as work on the route has reached an advanced stage.
Umar, who was in Gombe to inspect the progress of work on the Bauchi-Gombe-Maiduguri axis of the rail line, said travelers from the southern to Northern parts of Nigeria, especially business men, would soon have course to smile.
He said that the government was committed to ensuring that it delivers the dividends of democracy to citizens through the transformation agenda and that the railway project would reduce the cost and risk of traveling by road.
“At the moment we are concentrating on bringing back to life the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri line, which spans Port Harcourt, Enugu, Makurdi, Lafia, Jos, Bauchi, Gombe and up to Maiduguri. We hope that by November this year, the trains will be back on track,” he said.
He said further that work on the tracks is going on simultaneously with the standard gauge line, in order to meet up with modern trends in the rail transportation system.
“While that is going on, we are assiduously constructing the standard gauge line, with a view to bringing the modernization in the railway system to Nigeria, and contract for the Lagos-Ibadan double track has been signed, we do hope that before the end of the year, contractors will mobilize to site,” the Umar added.