Transportation Ministry to procure more coaches in 2020

Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

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Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, said more coaches and locomotive would be procured for the Abuja-Kaduna railway in 2020.

The Minister stated this while briefing State House correspondents after Wednesday’s meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“On railways, we confirmed to the President that we’ll be bringing in a DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit), which is diesel engine for Abuja-Kaduna.

 “It will be eight coaches and two locomotives that will drive them. This is to reduce the pressure we have on the Abuja-Kaduna route.

“Like I said before, we provided coaches for only 300 passengers because that’s what the experts told us when we did the research, but now we are carrying 3,700 passengers.

“We believe that the President will commission eight new coaches and two new locomotives this January to carry passengers from Abuja to Kaduna and Kaduna back to Abuja.

“We also reported that we’ll be ready to commission Itakpe to Warri between January and April, depending on when the President will be available it.”

Amaechi said part of his report to the cabinet meeting was that Lagos-Ibadan rail line would be ready for commission before April 2020.

He said trial-run has begun on the Lagos-Ibadan rail line.

“The last time before tomorrow, we ran from Iju to Ibadan, by tomorrow we’ll start running from Agege to Ibadan.

“By the time we return from the holidays, we’ll be running from Ebite-meta to Ibadan.

“We believe that we should have gotten to the seaport before April, this should reduce what you call the Apapa gridlock. We are finding solution to the Apapa gridlock.

“We also expect the China Exim Bank to approve the loan for Ibadan to Kano in January, if they do we expect that work should commence on Ibadan to Kano railway route in January or February next year.

“We’ll also put one DMU of right coaches and two locomotives on the Ibadan-Lagos this January to convey passengers free of charge till April when the President will commission the project.”

Amaechi said the ministry’s work in maritime focused on the purchase of equipment for maritime security.