FG orders Integration of Rail Line with Port Harcourt & Onne Port

Minister of Transportation, Saidu Alkali
Minister of Transportation, Saidu Alkali the punch

The Federal Government issued an order on Friday to connect the Port Harcourt-Aba rail line, which is nearing completion, to the Port Harcourt and Onne Ports in Rivers State for freight services to commence.

Senator Saidu Alkali, the Minister of Transportation, revealed this during a press briefing in Port Harcourt on Friday after inspecting the reconstruction of the Port Harcourt-Aba Railway track.

He mentioned that the planned commencement of train operations along the route in March 2024 would be postponed to April due to technical issues.

Alkali remarked, "This is my second visit to Port Harcourt for the rail line inspection since assuming office as Minister of Transportation. They initially set March as the target, but during the inspection, I pressed the consultant and contractor for a commitment. Due to some challenges, the timeline might extend to April."

He expressed disappointment at the contractors' failure to meet the March deadline, highlighting that they had assured completion of the Port Harcourt to Aba section by March 6. Failing to deliver on a promised deadline can be disheartening. Given the circumstances, it's acceptable if they deliver in April instead of March.

Regarding funding challenges, the minister affirmed the government's determination to complete all rail projects nationwide, including standard and narrow gauge lines.

"We inherited the standard gauge project from the previous administration and had to resolve financing issues before commencing. Once the finances are in order, we'll start. The government is resolute about completing projects across the country. We've just inspected the Port Harcourt-Aba rail line and aim to commence operations in April," Alkali stated.

He directed the contractor to connect the Port Harcourt rail to both Port Harcourt Port and Onne Port to kickstart freight operations.

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