A rail line connecting Makurdi in Nigeria’s central region to Port Harcourt in the south has become operational, adding to the number of rail lines that the Nigerian government has resuscitated in the last few years.

Commissioning the Makurdi-Port Harcourt rail line in Makurdi, the capital of Benue State on Friday, Vice President Namadi Sambo said the President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration had vowed to continue with the transformation agenda in the area of rail transport system until all Nigerians have access to train services.

Sambo said that the Federal Government would ensure the completion of another line, the Port Harcourt through Enugu-Makurdi to Kaduna line, before the end of President Jonathan’s administration.

The Vice President also declared that all rail network from the eastern rail line, through Makurdi to Kaduna and linking Kano to Lagos western line would all be connected.

For the host governor, Gabriel Suswam, it was a dream come true, as he had the opportunity to ride on the train for the first time.

He said that President Jonathan’s administration had restored the rail system for Nigerians.

The Nigerian Railway Corporation gave further assurances that the train would keep running twice a week along the route, noting that the failed cooling system in one of the five coaches will be rectified.

After cutting the tape, the Vice President, in company of the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, including former chairman, Bamanga Turkur, Senators’ Ahmadu Ali, Idris Umar and the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, took a test drive to the administrative office of the Corporation in Makurdi.

The newly introduced 68-seater five coaches trains bought from China, according to the managing director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, is part of the completion process of the Makurdi-Port Harcourt eastern line that will link several communities.


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