FG postpones start of Port Harcourt-Aba train service till April

The federal government has postponed the launch of the Port Harcourt-Aba train service to April from the initially planned start date at the end of March.

The Minister of Transportation, Sen. Saidu Alkali, disclosed this to journalists after inspecting the reconstructed railway tracks in Port Harcourt on Friday.

Alkali expressed disappointment over the delay and stressed that the contractor had given assurances of the project completion in April.

“This is my second time visit to Port Harcourt to inspect the progress of the (Port Harcourt-Aba) railway line since assuming office as the Minister of Transportation.

“The contractor initially committed to a March start date, but during track inspections, they made some observations necessitating the extension of the start date to April.

“The contractor has now committed to an April launch for the Port Harcourt to Aba railway services,” he said.

Alkali said measures were also being taken to connect both Port Harcourt and Onne seaports to the Port Harcourt to Aba rail track.

“We are not satisfied over the failure of the contractor to deliver the work on the agreed deadline. The contractor promised delivery of the project by March, but if they can deliver it in April, then I think that we can manage that.

“We started with the 15 per cent component in fixing the Port Harcourt to Aba rail section, but we now, focusing on linking the line to Port Harcourt and Onne Ports.”

The minister assured of President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to completing all ongoing projects across the country.

Regarding the Calabar-Enugu-Abuja gauge rail line awarded by the previous administration, Alkali mentioned ongoing efforts to finalise project financing.

“We are currently making all arrangements for the finances, and as soon as the finance is ready, the project will commence.

“We are dedicated to delivering all projects in all parts of the country.”

Alkali noted that work on the Ibadan to Abuja standard gauge rail line was progressing, urging public patience and support successful project delivery. (NAN)