By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA — IN a bid to boost speedy transport system in railway, the Federal Government, yesterday, announced that plans have reached advanced stages for a three-hour speed train project from Lagos to Abuja.
This is coming at a time train transportation services from Abuja to Kaduna will commence next month to make movement in the two cities not only faster but also cheaper and less stressful.
Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, who disclosed this at the public presentation of a book, ‘Showcasing Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s Monumental Strides: A Third Party Perspective,’ written by the Director-General of Citizens Network For Peace and Development in Nigeria, Mr. Dressmann Preye, in Abuja, appealed to Nigerians to give President Goodluck Jonathan the chance to consolidate on his achievements.
The book highlighted areas of reforms by the Jonathan’s administration which include, macro-economic management strategies; trade and investment policies; infrastructure development; agricultural transformation; oil and gas industry reforms; power and renewable energy; education and health reforms.
Senator Umar said the Federal Government had started receiving expression of interests from private firms within and outside the country.
The Minister said the federal government had carried out a number of feasibility studies with the aim of constructing more standard gauge lines across the country and had successfully completed studies in seven new corridors, including Abuja-Lagos high speed train.
He said: “The consultants, who carried out the feasibility studies have submitted their reports. Part of the report contains the involvement of the private sector to drive the project. This is because we want to develop these lines under public, private partnership arrangements.
“We have already, received a lot of expression of interests even ahead of advertisement for the purpose from various companies in the country and indeed, in other countries of the world.
“The idea is that, if we have this in place, the trains can move from Abuja to Lagos, and from Lagos to Abuja in a maximum of three hours.
“We are intending to compete favourably with the other transportation system in carrying passengers from Abuja to Lagos.