…Says Abuja-Kaduna train service resumes this November
By Ray Ugochukwu
The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, on Monday disclosed that sea piracy in Nigerian waters has been curtailed as a result of the Deep Blue Project initiative embarked upon by the Federal Government to checkmate illegalities at sea.
Sambo, who spoke at the Radio House, Abuja, while presenting the scorecard of his ministry to the media, explained that the feat was made possible through the Integrated National Waterways and Security Protection Infrastructure.
The minister also boasted of the positive impact of the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) law, which he said was the first of its kind in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) and a reference point for other maritime nations.
He used the opportunity to disclose that the Abuja-Kaduna train service which was halted due to the March 28, 2022, terrorist attack, would be reopened for patronage by the general public this November.
Sambo stated at the event tagged, Second edition of the PMB Administration Scorecard 2015-2023 Series that “The Abuja-Kaduna mishap was a very sad one and by the grace of God, we shall not witness such again. Not only because we have committed it to prayer but deliberate steps have been taken, lessons have been learned and these lessons would be put to use. What are these lessons: safety and security, surveillance, security 24/7, 7 days a week, 12 months a year, all round the clock”.
Speaking on the Nigerian Rail Modernization Plan, the Minister said that Warri – Itakpe rail line was not meant to terminate at Itakpe but Abuja but it was discovered that the concessionaire that was to handle it lacked capacity after approval had been facilitated from the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
He, however, assured that the Ministry was currently putting together a presentation to the FEC on the execution of the corridor on the basis of “Engineering, Procurement, Construction plus Finance plan”.
He added that under the railway modernization plan all state capitals across the country would be linked by railway.
According to the minister, other achievements include: the completed Abuja-Kaduna, Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge rail line, Warri-Itakpe rail lines with Assembly Plant at Kajola in Ogun State.
In the port sector, Sambo informed that the Lekki Deep Seaport with a draught of 16.5m was the largest in the West African Sub-region was started and completed by the present administration.
Earlier, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, informed that this was the second edition of the scorecard series and that it became necessary as the present administration winds down to consolidate its efforts by showcasing its achievements.
According to him, “We have a lot of achievements to highlight and campaign with. Again, we are spoilt for choice because of the sheer number of the achievements”.