The Federal Government yesterday in Lagos inaugurated the Nigeria Railway Corporation's Lagos-Kano intercity passenger train services and haulage of petroleum products.
The Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar, said at the event that the government was still committed to revamping the transport sector, particularly railway services, because of its importance to Nigeria's economic development.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NRC revitalised the Lagos-Kano intercity train services to complement the existing Lagos-Ilorin and Minna-Kano intercity train services.
Umar said "this segment holds the key to the development of the economy of the nation from the commercial port city of Lagos to the commercial hub of northern Nigeria in Kano." This is vital to the start-off of the transformation of the Nigerian economy.
Umar said the Federal Government has also awarded contracts for feasibility studies to open up other railway routes, adding that the government was also rehabilitating the Eastern Railway Line from Port Harcourt -Maiduguri with spur lines from Kuru-Kafanchan-Kaduna and Kuru-Jos.
The Minister also said government was repairing the Zaria-Gusau-Kauran- Namoda rail line, adding that the government was modernising the Project Phase I, Addendum 1, Abuja-Kaduna (Idu) Standard Gauge Rail Line (187km)
The minister said the government was repairing the existing 254km and completing the remaining 22km Standard Gauge Rail Line of the Central Rail Line from Ajaokuta to Warri with station buildings.
The Managing Director of the NRC, Mr Adeseyi Sijuwade, said the rail rehabilitation was much awaited, and hoped that train services on the Lagos-Kano route would improve Nigeria's economy.