management of the Abuja Metro light rail projectThe Federal Government says close to one million passengers and 3.5 million tonnes of freight will be conveyed on the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri rail line annually.

The 326-kilometre rail line, which had suffered setbacks in the last 30 years, was virtually inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari in September 2020.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this on Monday in Lagos said the Buhari administration is reviving and modernising the country’s rail.

Mohammed said passenger service had also commenced on the Lagos-Ibadan railway, ahead of the project’s inauguration.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Lagos-Ibadan rail line is a double-track standard gauge rail, the first of its kind in West Africa and the first leg of the Lagos- Kano rail line.

The minister also said the Loko-Oweto Bridge over River Benue is now 97 per cent completed.

NAN reports that the 1.8-kilometre bridge linking the northern and southern part of the country across the River Benue will achieve a drastic cut in travel time.

Mohammed further said the Federal Government is constructing or renovating 37 bridges across the country, including the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, the Second Niger Bridge and the Ikom Bridge in Cross River.

Others, he said, are the Murtala Mohammed Bridge in Koton Karfe, Kogi, the Tatabu Bridge linking Niger and Kwara, Isaac Boro Bridge in Port Harcourt and the Tamburawa Bridge in Kano State.

The minister said the Federal Government also completed and inaugurated the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu for scheduled flights.

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He said the rehabilitation of the runway and other associated works were executed in line with ICAO standard.

Mohammed said the administration had also continued to make steady progress in the areas of agriculture and power.

In agriculture, he said the Federal Government inaugurated “The Green Imperative,’’ a 10-year programme targeting the creation of five million jobs and injection of 10 billion dollars into the economy.

He said the Nigeria-Brazil agricultural bilateral initiative would lead to the reactivation of six motor assembly plants in the six geopolitical zones of the country for assembling tractors and other implements.

Mohammed said with the Anchor Borrowers programme introduced in 2015, more than N200 billion had been made available to support over 1.5 million farmers in the production of rice, wheat, cassava, poultry, soya beans, groundnut, maize, cotton and fish.

The minister said following an agreement with the German company, Siemens, in July 2019 to boost electricity supply, the stage was now set for ending the perennial power problem in the country.

Under the three-phase agreement, he said Nigerians will enjoy 7,000 megawatts of reliable power supply by the end of 2021 (Phase 1), 11,000 megawatts by the end of 2023 (Phase 2) and 25,000 megawatts in the third phase. (NAN)

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