The Minister of Transportation, Said Alkali, has affirmed his commitment to the timely completion and full operation of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail network.
He envisions that upon its completion, this rail line will bring about enhanced trade, improved market access, and seamless business connectivity for Nigerians.
Additionally, the minister anticipates a positive impact on agricultural production and its efficient movement across the country.
In a statement released in Abuja on Monday by his Special Assistant (Public Affairs), Jamilu Ja’afaru, Alkali emphasized that the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail network stands as a testament to the present administration’s dedication to infrastructural development, economic growth, and national unity.
He reiterated his determination to ensure not only the timely completion of the project but also its adherence to the highest international standards.
The rail network, spanning 1,657km and traversing 13 states, is poised to unlock unprecedented benefits for Nigerians.
Alkali highlighted the diverse advantages that will be realized in various states, underlining the potential for economic growth, social integration, and post-insurgency reconstruction.
For instance, in Rivers State, the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line is expected to elevate the state’s standing as a major commerce and trade hub, connecting it to key economic centers across the country.
Similarly, Abia State, known for its vibrant commerce and industry, is anticipated to experience improved business linkages, supporting local industries and empowering small and medium-sized enterprises.
The minister also acknowledged the positive impact on states like Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, and Borno, emphasizing the potential for increased agricultural productivity, easier movement of mineral resources, and quick, cost-effective transportation of goods and people.
In addressing concerns about the withdrawal of a lawsuit against an opposition senator after defection to the ruling party, Alkali did not shy away from critiquing such actions as crude methods employed to weaken opposition ranks.
He emphasised that the administration’s focus is on fostering growth and development through transparent and efficient infrastructure projects, aligning with its commitment to inclusivity and national progress.