Itakpe/Warri Rail line to commence operations soon, says Amaechi
For over thirty two years after it was abandoned by previous governments, President Muhammadu Buhari would soon be invited to perform a virtual commissioning of the Itakpe/Warri standard gauge railway for commercial use. Minister of Transportation Rt Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has said.
Amaechi who spoke during an inspection tour of the project facility in Agbor and Warri, Delta State on Saturday, also commended the contractors, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, (CCECC), Technique Engineering, Architecture, Marketing (TEAM) and Julius Berger for a job well-done.
He said the contractors lived up to expectations in terms of quality job delivery.
"We are planning for the President to perform a virtual commissioning of this project. The contractors have since concluded their jobs and left the site, the only contractor left is the CCECC, and they will soon leave the site as well and hand over to NRC. We'll know if NRC has done a good job when they manage it properly because the issue is maintenance.
Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi on inspection of the Warri-Itakpe rail line...Weekend.
"I am satisfied with the job done by CCECC, TEAM and Julius Berger. The contractors must be commended for a good job delivery," he said.
Amaechi also restated that out of the ten stations completed, President Buhari had approved that the main station in Agbor be named after former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Speaking further on the safety of passengers as regards the coronavirus pandemic, Amaechi explained that proactive measures would be put in place by the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) to protect the lives of all passengers.
He said there would be strict adherence to the guidelines and procedures put in place by the Presidential Taskforce on covid19 by the passengers.
"We are going to abide by the guidelines of the Covid19 Tax Force. Every passenger, no matter how highly placed, must obey the rules. Everybody must wear their facemasks and come with their sanitizers before boarding the train. We'll also abide by the committee's directive of three metre distance, that's why we are reducing the number of passengers per coach from 88 to 40. We will also increase the number of policemen for the enforcement of law and order in all the coaches,” he said.
R-L: Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi with TEAM Project Manager for the Warri-Itakpe rail line, Engr Chiedu Nwazojie and the MD, Nigeria Railway Corporation, Engr Fidet Okhiria on inspection of the Warri-Itakpe rail line...Weekend.
Amaechi assured that cargo operations would commence immediately, as soon as discussions were concluded between Dangote and Bua cement. He said the Ajaokuta steel company and other manufacturers around that rail corridor are also expected to move their goods via the train.
Acknowledging that Covid 19 had slowed down project delivery, particularly on the Lagos-Ibadan railway and commencement of Ibadan to Kano, the minister said the situation would not deter him from performing and delivering on his assignments, as president Buhari has also declared same.