Chinazor Megbolu |
The National Assembly had commended the Federal Government for its revolutionary drive in the railway sector.
This was made known by the Joint Committee on Land Transport made up of the Upper and Lower Chambers of the National Assembly during their oversight inspection of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line on Saturday.
The law makers assured Nigerians of their total support to the President Muhammadu Buhari led government.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, Senator, Abdulfatai Buhari who led the team on inspection from Lagos to Abeokuta in Ogun state, expressed satisfaction over the on-going railway project.
In his address, Buhari told pressmen that the railway sector has justified the funds appropriated to it as enshrined in the 2019 budget.
He explained that another fund had just been appropriated few days ago for a continuous work and added that appropriation bill has been changed from January to December.
“Our intention was to get to Ibadan but we couldn’t. However, the beauty of it all is that the train has been taking people freely from Lagos to Ibadan”.
“This idea of free train ride is to ameliorate the suffering of our people especially during this festive period where our people would want to go home for Xmas or New Year celebration”.
“We are looking at April 2020 for the official commissioning of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line and as soon as possible, Ibadan-Kano axis will begin”.
“The project that was initially pegged for three years has been achieved within two years, this is a reflection of good governance and better administration”.
“Rail system will serve as an alternative to road transport and it will expand the life span of the Nigerian roads, “he said.
Buhari further stated the project was extended from Ebute-Meta to Apapa and Tin Can seaport and hopefully in the next one year, that of the Eastern zone will kick off from Port-Harcourt to Maiduguri.
He, however, averred that the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line, Itakpe-Warri rail and completed Abuja-Kaduna rail have added values to the transportation system in the country.
Buhari expressed optimism that the railway projects would boost economic development of the country upon completion.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Engr, Fidet Okhiria hinted that the next time committee members would be visiting, the journey would begin from Agege area of Lagos state due to ongoing works
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