Breaking News: The Federal Government Initiates Port Harcourt-Aba Train Service.

The Port Harcourt-Aba rail line has been officially inaugurated by the Federal Government for commercial train operations, making it accessible to the general public.

The start of the train service has been delayed on two occasions in the past.

On Tuesday, the Minister of Transportation, Senator Said Alkali, inaugurated the start of commercial operations on the 62.0-kilometre Port-Harcourt to Aba route at the Railway Station in Port Harcourt.

Alkali said that the event was a component of the Federal Government’s strengthened efforts to promote commerce, improve mobility and accessibility, and establish connection between the southern and northeastern regions of the nation.

According to him, the Federal Ministry of Transportation granted the restoration project to Messrs China Civil Engineering and Construction Company, with a specified completion period of 36 months.

Senator Alkali stated, “Due to several technical and contractual issues, the project commenced in March 2022.

“It is worthy to note that the scope of the project covers the rehabilitation of the existing narrow gauge railway line, the construction of new modern stations, and the procurement of new modern rolling stock.

“This railway line will also link the ports of Onne, Bonny, and Port-Harcourt to facilitate the evacuation of goods and other freight through the Eastern Corridor.

“The Federal Government, in the contractual agreement, is to provide 15 per cent of the direct construction cost, inclusive of land acquisition and value-added tax, while a bank loan through direct construction cost is to cover 85 per cent of the project.”

Additionally, he said that the initiation of operations in this specific part of the project is intended to enhance economic activities between the South-South and South-East parts of the nation until the other portions of the project are finished.

“With the completion of the rehabilitation of the Port-Harcourt to Aba rail corridor, the Ministry will continue to vigorously drive Messrs CCECC towards the speedy completion and delivery of the 181-kilometre Aba-Enugu stretch.

“Commencement of operations on this stretch of the project aligns with priority five of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Presidential Priority Areas, which identify enhanced infrastructure and transportation as enablers of growth for the economy.”

The highlight of the celebration was that soon after the commissioning, the Minister and his entourage, together with select members of the public boarded the train for a voyage to Aba, Abia State.

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