FG COMMENCES OPERATIONS ON COMPLETED SECTION OF THE PORT-HARCOURT- MAIDUGURI NARROW GAUGE LINE

As part of the intensified drive by the Federal Government (FG) to facilitate trade, enhance mobility, accessibility and ensure connectivity between the Southern parts of the country to the North-Eastern part of the Country, the rehabilitation of the 1443 km Port-Harcourt to Maiduguri narrow gauge rail project has received priority attention. The Federal Government is therefore set to commence operations on the Port-Harcourt to Aba stretch of the rail project.

The Honourable Minister of Transportation, Sen. Said Alkali on behalf of the Federal Government is expected to flag off the commencement of the commercial services on the 62.0 kilometers of the Port-Harcourt to Aba corridor today 30th April 2024.

This project which was awarded by the Federal Ministry of Transportation to Messrs China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) on October 16, 2020, with a completion timeline of 36 months.

Due to several technical and contractual issues, the project commenced in March 2022. It is worthy to note that the scope of the project covers the rehabilitation of the existing narrow gauge railway line, construction of new modern stations, and procurement of new modern rolling stock.

This railway line will also link the ports of Onne, Bonny, and Port-Harcourt to facilitate evacuation of goods and sundry freight through the Eastern corridor.

The Federal Government in the contractual agreement is to provide 15% of Direct Construction Cost inclusive of land acquisition and Value Added Tax (VAT), while a bank loan through Direct Construction Cost is to cover 85% of the project.

Facilitation of the bank loan is in progress and is expected to be concluded soon. Thus, the progress achieved on project from inception in 2020 to the present date has been funded exclusively from the yearly budgetary allocation of the Federal Ministry of Transportation.

The Federal Government with the commencement of operations along this section of the project aims to boost economic activities between the South-South and South-East region of the country pending completion of the other sections of the project.

With the completion of the rehabilitation of Port-Harcourt to Aba rail corridor, the Ministry will continue to vigorously drive Messrs CCECC towards the speedy completion and delivery of the 181 kilometres Aba-Enugu stretch.

Commencement of operations on this stretch of the project aligns with priority 5 of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Presidential Priority Areas which identifies “Enhanced Infrastructure and Transportation as Enablers of Growth” to the economy.

Muhammad Tahir Zakari MFR
For: Director, Press & Public Relations

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