Nigeria’s minister of transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has said that the newly flagged off movement of freight services on the Warri-Itakpe standards gauge railway line would promote the ease of doing business and also create more jobs in the country.
In September 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari virtually commissioned the Warri-Itapke standard gauge rail track for the movement of passengers between Warri and Itakpe.
Amaechi made the disclosure on Friday at the inauguration of freight haulage services on the standard gauge railway line at Ujevwu community, near Warri.
He said that the development and modernisation of the railway system had been a major focus of the Federal Government.
“We are here today to flag-off commercial freight services on the standard gauge route that was abandoned for over 30 years but rehabilitated by this administration and subsequently put into operation.
Amaechi stated that, it has been one of the strategic aims of the present administration to ensure that all critical infrastructure abandoned by the previous administration, particularly those that would benefit the citizenry, are completed and commissioned.
It is universally acknowledged that a developing country with a large population such as Nigeria must develop a robust transport system such as modern and functional rail system which is undeniably instrumental to creating much needed socio-economic transformation and industrial development.
The minister expressed hope that the freight service will enhance more efficient, land-based and affordable mode for mass transit and freight services.
He noted that, the federal government promised to embark on wealth creation projects through various interventions and projects execution that will provide direct and indirect employment opportunities to our citizens.
“Reports available suggests that patronage on this route has increased by over 200 per cent in the last few months and its becoming a preferred means of transportation for communities along this route in Delta, Edo and Kogi States,” Amaechi said.
The minister urged the people in Warri and neighbouring communities to cooperate and support the federal government and the oil companies to enable the freight service project flourish.
Amaechi said that the gesture would attract more federal government development to the area, adding that 90 per cent of the employees were from Delta.