Senate urges FG to upgrade Eastern rail line

The Senate has urged the Federal Government to upgrade the Eastern Rail Line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri, from narrow to standard gauge.

This followed the adoption of a motion by Sen. Victor Umeh( APGA-Anambra) and co-sponsored by 31 other senators at plenary.

Moving the motion, Umeh said that the eastern rail line passed through four zones of South-South, South-East, North-Central, and North-East of the country.

“This runs from Port Harcourt through Enugu, Markurdi, Jos, Bauchi, and Maiduguri, which is the longest and one of the oldest rail lines in Nigeria.”

He said that if this railway system is upgraded and it becomes functional again, vehicular traffic on the roads will be reduced and the roads will be easily maintained.

The lawmaker said that rehabilitation and reconstruction of a narrow gauge rail line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri had been vandalized, abandoned, and overgrown with weeds and trees.

“Not only did the project failed, but the Chinese contractors partnering with the Federal Government on the project who were expected to provide 85 per cent of the expected funding programme, abandoned the project without injecting any funds.”

He urged the federal government to take immediate steps to build a standard gauge rail line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri.

As the need for reconstructing the Port Harcourt to Maiduguri railway gauge is not a new issue, Sen. Eyinnaya Abaribe (APGA-Abia) said, “One of the biggest problems that we had was that no transport minister has been able to give a reason why in the modernization of rail lines built by the colonial masters in Nigeria, only the eastern rail line has been ignored.”

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio said that the motion was a patriotic one that the federal government should take seriously.

Source: Vanguard

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