- President Muhammadu Buhari has commissioned the Warri-Itakpe railway project
- The project commissioning was done virtually by the president on Tuesday, September 29
- Legit.ng had reported that the Agbor station of the rail line was named after former president Goodluck Jonathan
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, September 29, commissioned the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Agbor-Warri railway project virtually.
The event took place at the Agbor station of the rail line which was named after former president Goodluck Jonathan.
Speaking at the event, President Buhari urged Nigerians to support his administration's drive for the provision of infrastructure
He stated that maintenance and safety culture is necessary for such facilities. The president also urged stakeholders in the iron and steel sector and agricultural sectors to maximize the benefits ''which will be available in your doorsteps."
Resuscitating the iron and steel complex in Ajaokuta, President Buhari also congratulated the minister of transport, Rotimi Amaechi, and the host communities for the completion of the project.
Speaking at the event, minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, stated that he had a mandate from the president in 2015 to ensure an effective transportation system, especially railways.
"We have to appreciate the unrelenting intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari.
"The entire project was met in the state of decay in 2015, with the entire infrastructure moribund.
"Now, we have communication gadgets, medical equipment, water for workers and all other things to make the railway and stations run effectively."
Recall that the 276-kilometres railway-line was first awarded in 1987.
The railway line was originally designed for the transportation of Iron Ore to Ajaokuta (Kogi) and Aladja steel Rolling mills (Delta state). It was also designed to transport processed steel to the port in Warri, also in Delta state.
In 2009, the construction of the Itakpe-Warri railway line was reactivated. The Goodluck Jonathan-led federal government approved N33bn for the redesign and completion of the remaining 22 kilometres.
The contract for the construction of the railway line was awarded. It was awarded to Team Nigeria and Julius Berger PLC. The project was meant to be delivered in March 2013.
The railway line was redesigned to provide passenger service. It was originally conceived as a cargo rail.
After the change of president in 2015, the project was abandoned. It was abandoned after 70% completion due to lack of funds.
In 2017, the Buhari administration announced that it will fund the revival of the Itakpe-Warri rail line at a cost estimate of N72 billion.
The project was re-awarded to three construction firms. They are Julius Berger, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and ZTE.
Twelve (12) new stations are in between Itakpe and Warri. Two stations would be between Itakpe and Ajaokuta. The remaining 10 would stretch between Ajaokuta and Warri. They include Itakpe; Eganiy; Adobe; Itogbo; Agenebode; Uromi; Egehen; Igbanke; Agbor; Abraka; Okpara and Ujewu stations.
The railway line will connect three states: Kogi, Edo and Delta, and ultimately the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Legit.ng had reported about the presidency announcing the approval for the naming of the railway complex in Agbor after President Buhari's predecessor, Goodluck on Saturday, July 18.
However, the naming of the railway complex after Jonathan was later described as “meaningless and belittling" by Pan Niger Delta Forum.
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