NRC expects Nigeria to be linked by rail line within the next 5-10 years

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has said Nigeria is expected to be linked with rail lines within the next 5 to 10 years.

This follows the several railway projects that are currently ongoing or expected to take off across the country.

This was disclosed by the Managing Director of NRC, Mr Fidet Okhiria, during an interview with NAN on Sunday, where he said that this would be achieved in line with the determination and will of the present administration.

What the Managing Director of NRC is saying

Okhiria said that the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, was also making endless and tireless efforts to ensure the country’s rail network was expanded to better serve Nigerians.

The NRC boss said, ”I think in five years we will be hoping that somebody can leave Lagos and get to Abuja within eight hours by rail.

”We have several projects on the eastern axis, and all those contracts have been signed but the finance people are looking for the funds to ensure the contractors move to sight.

”We also have the contract from Calabar to Lagos, the coastal rail, we also have the Itape-Warri, being completed to link from Itape to Abuja.

“So if you link Itape to Abuja, it means people can leave Warri to Kano because the Kano-Kaduna railway is presently ongoing, formations are being put in place and with the timeline, we are hoping that by December this year the track would have been laid.

”Also the eastern line has an expansion that when it gets to Benin it will come to Agbor, Agbor to Onitsha, Onitsha to Awka, Awka to Enugu and to Abakaliki.

”And we also have plans to link the deep sea in River State and then link Owerri and come back to Enugu. And from Damaturu we also do the one going to Maiduguri, we just hope that the economy improves and we’re able to get funding.’’

Why this matters

The Federal Government has embarked on several multi-billion dollar railway projects across the country as part of its ambitious plan to create a nationwide rail network that is intended to help in the country’s diversification efforts, away from crude oil.

The country’s huge investment in transport infrastructure is needed to help Nigeria move away from its dependence on oil. Some of these rail projects will also help to decongest the Apapa ports in Lagos and serve as a route for the import and export of goods in the West African sub-region.

The connection of the country through an efficient rail network will help cut the spiralling cost of transporting goods across the country, reduce the pressure on road infrastructure, make travelling around the country safer, and engender economic growth, among others.


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