Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Kuru-Bauchi Railway Ready in February, Says Minister

Jos — The Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar, says the rehabilitation of the railway from Kuru station in Plateau to the Bauchi city station will be completed before February ending.

Umar said this on Friday in Jos when he inspected the rehabilitation of the railway in the Kafanchan District of Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the railway covers some parts of Kaduna and Nasarawa states, as well as Plateau and Benue.

"The inspection is to see the progress of work on the rehabilitation of the rail tracks, to identify areas of challenges and interact with contractors on the achievements made so far on the project.

"We have the commitment of the contractors, that between now and the end of February the tracks between Kuru and Bauchi will be ready," the minister said.

He said the Federal Government was "assiduously" working on the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri line to ensure that the entire line was completed by the middle of 2014.

Umar said the Federal Government was committed to reviving the railway system and improving on the previous level of the railway infrastructure.

"The Apapa port on the Lagos-Kaduna-Kano railway is already operational and government is ready to replicate the feat nationwide," the minister said.

During the visit, Umar directed that the Railway Station-Inland Container Depot at Heipang be surveyed for the purpose of linking the depot by rail.

He said it was meant to facilitate the movement of goods to and from the depot, using the railway system.

The minister also said that seven standard gauge rail lines were being constructed across the country to boost rail transportation.

He also said feasibility studies to extend the corridors of the standard gauge had been completed, adding that bids for the construction of the corridors would soon be advertised.

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