The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has said that the Lagos-Kano train service will commence operations on Friday, August 13, 2021.
This is coming barely 2 months after President Muhammadu Buhari officially commissioned the $1.5 billion 157 kilometre Lagos-Ibadan rail standard railway project for full commercial operations.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure was made by the NRC’s Regional District Manager, Northern District, Mr Ismail Adebiyi, in Zaria, Kaduna State, on Sunday.
Adebiyi said the train would leave Lagos on Friday evening and arrive in Kano on Sunday morning adding that the corporation had concluded plans to restart the Kaduna to Kafanchan and Kaduna to Kano train service before the end of August.
He also said that NRC would rehabilitate 100 wagons to further strengthen the rail sector within the next two months with 21 of the rehabilitated wagons to be used in the northern district of the rail service comprising Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa, Yobe, Katsina and Zamfara states.
He revealed that the Kano to Nguru (Yobe State) train service was still active with plans at an advanced stage to enhance the traffic on the route by returning coaches that were dropped because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The regional district manager said the Minna-Kaduna rail mass transit had also been active for the past one month and that patronage was increasing on every trip. The service runs on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays.
The train leaves Minna at 7 a.m. and leaves Kaduna at about 2.30 p.m.
He added that since most of the routes were on narrow gauge, the corporation would strengthen its maintenance work to ensure hitch-free operations
Adebiyi stressed that the corporation had strengthened its collaboration with key security agencies and other relevant stakeholders to address vandalism on Railway properties.
He commended the Federal Government for boosting rail service and enjoined Nigerians to take advantage of the new posture.
What you should know
It can be recalled that earlier in March the Federal Government kick-started the $3 billion rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Eastern rail line that links major cities across the country.
The rail line is expected to move from Bonny ports to Port Harcourt in Rivers State and when completed, would connect Rivers, Abia, Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kaduna, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe and Borno States by rail.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, had in July disclosed that the Federal Government had committed about $280 million for the $1.2 billion Kaduna-Kano rail project.