Minna — Federal government has approved the disbursement of N8 billion under Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) for revitalization of railway transport system across the country.
A committee member of SURE-P and Sub-committee convener on railways, Mr Chike Churchill Okogwu, made the statement yesterday in an interactive session with journalists at Railway station Terminus in Minna, Niger state, saying so far N5 billion has been expended on the ongoing works of railway line rehabilitation in the country.
He added that out of the amount so far released was N2.3 billion for Port Harcourt to Markudi, N2.2 billion for Idu to Kaduna and N383 million for Jebba-Kano railway lines.
According to him, rehabilitation works on Bridge 73 at Akare in Niger State had reached advanced stage, saying if all work as scheduled, the bridge would be put to use by October this year.
He stressed that, the bridge was the only obstacle to the rail track that link the South and the north, noting that when completed, not only the train service would resume but there would be five train services between Zungeru to Ilorin and Kaduna to Minna.
Okogwu explained that the SURE-P was partnering with the Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) on trans-modal collaboration, with a view of bringing in vehicles that could move freight from train to their final destination, pending the completion of Bridge 73.
Nigerian Railway Corporation was forced to suspend operations when Bridge 73 was washed away by flash flood.