Buhari directs extension of Itakpe-Warri railway to link south and north
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday has the Ministry of Transportation to ensure the extension of the newly commissioned Itakpe-Warri railway to link with Abuja creating a direct line between the north and the south.
Speaking while virtually commissioning the 326km Itakpe Warri Railway and ancillary facility yard from the Conference Hall of the State House in Abuja, the President said that the linking should be achieved before the end of his second tenure in 2023.
According to the statement by the President’s spokesman, Femi Adexian, the President also directed that the railway stations be renamed after Nigerians who have contributed immensely to nation-building.
He commended all who in the 33 years of its creation made the project a success urging host communities for the rail line to maximise the potential the rail line avails them.
The Federal Ministry of Transportation tweeted on Monday that President Buhari will inaugurate the Itakpe-Warri railway ancillary facility yard virtually.
The Itakpe-Warri railway line is a 276 kilometres railway line that links Warri in Delta State to Ajaokuta, in Kogi State.
The rail service has 12 stations with two located between Itakpe, Ajaokuta and Warri. They include Itakpe; Eganiy; Adobe; Itogbo; Agenebode; Uromi; Egehen; Igbanke; Agbor; Abraka; Okpara and Ujewu.
The President in his speech declared that his administration recognised the importance of the railway mode of transportation as a vital backbone to support industrialization and economic development.
He said, “Accordingly, I have approved the prioritization of viable railway routes for either new rail lines or the reconstruction and rehabilitation of some, to achieve effective and efficient train services supporting the country's trade and commerce.
”The Railway Infrastructure that I have the honour to commission today is the rail line from Itakpe via the steel town complex of Ajaokuta to Warri, and is an important link for the country's economy as the central rail line.
”This Government has also approved to link this line further from Itakpe to Abuja, thereby, connecting the Northern Zone of the country and also extending southwards to link the Warri Ports.”
The President expressed confidence that the project, which serves as a vital link of South-South geopolitical zones of the country to the Northern zones, would be completed during the tenure of this administration, according to the statement.
”It will link people across the cultural divides and expand the frontier of trade and commerce, which will lead to better standards of living for our citizens,” he said.
President Buhari recalled that to further give recognition to Nigerian sons and daughters who have distinguished themselves at nation-building and development, 11 railway stations and railway village were named after some deserving citizens.