Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation has given an update regarding the ongoing revival of rail transportation in the country.
While speaking to journalists after his arrival from China, Amaechi disclosed that 20 new coaches would arrive in 6 weeks from China for the Abuja-Kaduna and Lagos-Ibadan rail lines. He said he visited the Asian country to get locomotives and coaches.
“We went for two items; basically to get more locomotives and coaches. They’re all ready. It will take six weeks to get to Nigeria and maybe one week to clear them. For the Lagos trains, it will be easy; it will take a day or two to get it to the track.
“But for the trains coming to Abuja, it will take one week or two to get it here. To my surprise, the coaches we released two or three weeks ago to go to Kaduna arrived just within two days. So, we hope that when these trains arrive in Lagos seaport, we should be able to get them fast.
“We are expecting 20 coaches – 10 for Abuja-Kaduna and 10 for Lagos-Ibadan as a temporary measure; more will then arrive in the second batch as we complete Lagos-Ibadan,” Amaechi said.
Speaking further, Amaechi said that for the sustainability of the rail system, it was important for Nigerians to be trained so as not to be too dependent on the Chinese.
He, therefore, said that Nigerians would be trained so that in the coming years, Nigerian engineers would take over in order to stop the Chinese maintenance contract in both Kaduna-Abuja and Lagos-Ibadan.
Why this matters: In recent times, the Abuja-Kaduna road has become one of the most dangerous roads in Nigeria. This has made passengers turn to rail transportation as a safer means of transportation. With this upgrade of rail transport, many Nigerians will feel more at ease knowing that it is secured and advanced.