Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari today commissioned the Abuja – Kaduna railway track and flag-off the Abuja-Kaduna train services
(Passengers & Freight) on Nigeria’s first ever Standard Gauge Rail track to go into operation.
This project was conceived by previous administration of former president Yar’adua and started by former president Goodluck Jonathan administration. But Buhari stated he is “pleased to complete and commission it”.
Also present at the ceremony was the Minister of Transport and former governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Amaechi.
The construction of the Abuja-Kaduna Standard Gauge rail track commenced in 2009 and sixteen years after Nigerians were presented with a Standard Gauge Railway Train Service that will be “safe, fast and reliable”.
In his speech at the ceremony Buhari said “The Abuja-Kaduna train service will provide the much needed alternative transport link between the Federal Capital Territory and Kaduna State, a corridor which has a huge potential for industries, agricultural activities and a growing labour force.”
The president said the Minister of Transportation, Chief Rotimi Amaechi and his team have put great efforts in the last few months to ensure the successful completion of this project under this Administration.
“Completion and Commissioning of this project is indeed in keeping with our vision of bringing about the desired change to make life easier for the generality of Nigerians through the development and provision of the necessary social and physical infrastructure.”
“In this regard, I wish to assure Nigerians that most State capitals and major commercial and production centres will be linked with railway system as a way of bringing about rapid socio-economic development and improving the quality of life of the Nigerians and promoting social & regional integration”, Buhari said.
He added: “Furthermore, I wish to also reassure Nigerians that due attention will be placed on pursuing the 25-Year Strategic Railway Master Plan which is aimed at rehabilitating the existing 3,505km narrow gauge rail line and developing and constructing new standard gauge rail lines across the country.
“As we celebrate the symbolic return of rail service today I wish to reiterate the commitment of this Administration to pursue with greater vigour and determination rehabilitation and construction of other rail lines including the major Lagos-Calabar and Kano-Lagos lines.”