The Federal Government has assured Nigerians of its commitment to ensure that the Abuja-Kaduna railway is completed by December 2014.
The Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar who gave the assurance shortly after the inspection of the rail modernisation project from Idu to Jere project sites in Kaduna State on Friday, said the Abuja-Kaduna railway will certainly be completed by the end of this year.
Umar said that the project is on course and explained that all necessary support required by the contractors handling the project, have been provided by the Federal Government in order to ensure that the December 2014 deadline is met.
He expressed satisfaction over the work done so far, insisting it is part of the Federal Government’s transformation agenda in the Transport sector to re-position the rail sub sector by developing standard gauge as modern rail system in the country.
According to him: “Abuja-Kaduna railway is very strategic to Nigeria as a country and to the Government in particular noting that “we are achieving a very huge milestone in the development of inter-modal transport system in Nigeria”.
He said further that the corridor has reached about 72 per cent completion level and work is going on assiduously adding that the major structural works are almost completed.
‘You can see that the work is going on assiduously, the bridges are almost completed so also culverts and overpass bridges among others.
The minister who was in a train ride from Idu to Gwagwa Karimu was accompanied by his Permanent Secretary, Engr. Nebolisa Emodi, the Director of Rail and Mass Transit in the ministry, Engr Gafar Bature, the Managing Director of NRC, Engr. Oluwaseyi Sijuade and some top officials in the ministry.
He argued that this particular project and other projects in the other sectors of the economy spread across the country are the testimonies of the fact that Mr President has transformed the country.
On the challenges facing the projects, the minister said that efforts are being made to ensure that the two major constraints which include water interference at km 19 and certain estates built along the rail lines at Kubwa are addressed by the relevant authorities in the FCT.