Senate requests that FG improve the Eastern Rail Line
The Senate has urged the Federal Government to upgrade the eastern rail line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri from narrow to standard gauge.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Sen. Victor Umeh (APGA, Anambra) and co-sponsored by 31 other senators at plenary.
Moving the motion, Umeh said that the eastern rail line passed through four zones, namely the south-south, south-east, north-central, and north-east of the country.
“This runs from Port Harcourt through Enugu, Makurdi, Jos, Bauchi, and Maiduguri, which is the longest and one of the oldest rail lines in Nigeria.”
He said that a functional railway system in the country would help to reduce vehicular traffic on the roads and save them from constant dilapidation.
The lawmaker said that the rehabilitation and reconstruction of a narrow gauge rail line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri had been vandalized, abandoned, and overgrown with weeds and trees.
“Not only that the project failed, but the Chinese contractors partnering with the Federal Government on the project, who were expected to provide 85 percent of the expected funding program, abandoned the project without injecting any funds.”
He urged the federal government to take immediate steps to build a standard-gauge rail line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri.
Sen. Eyinnaya Abaribe (APGA, Abia) said that the issue was not new.
“This has been here since the 8th Senate.
“One of the biggest problems that we had was that no transport minister has been able to give a reason why, in the modernization of rail lines built by the colonial masters in Nigeria, only the eastern rail line has been ignored.”
He said that with the coming of the administration of President Bola Tinubu, the eastern rail line would be upgraded.
In his remarks, President Godswill Akpabio said that the motion was a patriotic one that the federal government should take seriously