Transport Minister Flags-Off Port-Harcourt To Aba Rail Service


The Minister of Transportation, Senator Said Alkali has officially flagged off the 62km Port-Harcourt to Aba rail service.

Flagging-off the commencement of the rail service in Port-Harcourt, the Minister noted that transportation is amongst the eight key priority areas of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration hence his prioritization of the eastern rail corridor project upon assumption of office.

“We are here in Port-Harcourt to commission the train service for Port-Harcourt to Aba. I also want to thank the President and Commander-in-Chief, Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his support and commitment to the Ministry of Transportation and his continuous desire to bring succour to the great people of this nation”.

To encourage and drive the usage of the train service, the Minister declared a 4-day free train ride from 1st May, 2024 to 4th May, 2024 with commercial services expected to kick start on Tuesday, 7th May, 2024.

The Minister noted that the completion of this project is vital to the socio-economic progression of the country.

This is even as he disclosed that the Port-Harcourt to Maiduguri rehabilitation and reconstruction rail project cuts across the 5 geo-political zones of South-South, South-East, North-Central, North East, and the North-West.

In cognizance of current economic realities, the Minister assured that the Ministry is currently assessing a proposition on the retrofitting from diesel-powered locomotives to Liquefied Natural Gas by an investor. He assured that bringing this to reality will facilitate re-evaluation of current train tickets across the train service corridors.

Speaking also at the flag-off, the Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Engr. Fidet Okhiria, during a media chat, disclosed that the locomotives and coaches used for the flag-off are refurbished ones. He, however assured that the contractor Messrs China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) is expected to deliver soon 50 narrow gauge locomotives and 100 narrow gauge coaches to be deployed along existing train corridors in the country.

He encouraged the public of NRC’s commitment to offer better services, adding that containers can also be transported via this channel from Port-Harcourt to Aba.

The Minister along with the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMT), Oloruntola Olufemi, Director, Rail Transport Services, FMT, Zirra Finbar, Director, Legal Services, FMT, Pius Oteh, Managing Director, NRC, Engr. Fidet Okhiria, together with traditional rulers, embarked on an assessment and a short ride on the commissioned train service from Port-Harcourt to Aba.