By Chris Ochayi
Minister of Transportation, Chief Rotimi Amaechi, yesterday, stated the Buhari administration’s commitment to completing the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail project by December 2018.
The minister also disclosed that by October 2, this year, operation will commence on narrow gauge railway to run from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri, saying, it will be the first economically viable station.
Amaechi spoke at a symposium, in Abuja, where Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and the Director General, Nigerian Maritime administration and safety Agency, NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, also agreed that effective railway and road infrastructure will address poverty in the country.
The trios, who spoke as panellists at the Osasu Show Symposium organised by the Osasu Show Foundation under the theme: “The new economy and its impact on less privileged citizens”, said Nigeria desires functional roads and railways infrastructure to get its economy right.
Osasu Show Foundation was founded by Miss Osasu Igbinedion, daughter of a former governor of Edo State, Chief Lucky Igbinedion.
Amaechi said: “When you finish production in a place like Aba, and the market is in Lagos, how do you transport it to Lagos? You charter a plane or you go by bad road. So, government now say, ‘Can we make the Nigerian environment conducive for economic growth?’
“And what are we doing? The first thing we are doing to how to diversify the economy. To diversify the economy is not by word of mouth, what the politicians do when they want to campaign”.