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FG Delays Launch of Port Harcourt-Aba Train Service Until April

The Federal Government has opted to delay the launch of the Port Harcourt-Aba train service until April, after contractors failed to fulfill their promise of completing the project by the end of March.

Sen. Saidu Alkali, the Minister of Transportation, conveyed this decision to journalists subsequent to his scrutiny of the reconstructed railway tracks in Port Harcourt on Friday.

Expressing disappointment at the setback, Mr Alkali highlighted that the contractor had previously assured completion of the project by April. He remarked, “This marks my second visit to Port Harcourt to assess the progress of the Port Harcourt-Aba railway line since assuming office as the Minister of Transportation.

Initially, the contractor committed to a March start date, but during track inspections, they identified certain issues necessitating an extension of the start date to April. Consequently, the contractor has now pledged an April launch for the Port Harcourt to Aba railway services.”

Furthermore, Mr Alkali divulged that efforts were underway to link both Port Harcourt and Onne seaports to the Port Harcourt to Aba rail track. He stated, “We are dissatisfied with the contractor’s failure to meet the agreed deadline.

While the contractor pledged project delivery by March, if they can achieve it by April, then I believe we can manage that. Initially, we focused on the 15 per cent component in rectifying the Port Harcourt to Aba rail section, but now we are concentrating on connecting the line to Port Harcourt and Onne Ports.”

Assuring of President Bola Tinubu’s dedication to completing all ongoing projects nationwide, the minister also addressed the Calabar-Enugu-Abuja gauge rail line awarded by the previous administration.

He mentioned ongoing efforts to finalise project financing, stating, “We are currently arranging the finances, and once the funding is secured, the project will commence. We are committed to delivering all projects across the nation.”

Additionally, Mr Alkali acknowledged the progress of work on the Ibadan to Abuja standard gauge rail line, urging public patience and support for successful project delivery.