Abuja-Kaduna Railway Mixed reactions as President Buhari commissions $1.457bn project

The $1.457 billion Abuja-Kaduna railway project started in 2009 during the administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan.

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Abuja-Kaduna project play

President Muhammadu Buhari at the commissioning of the Abuja-Kaduna railway project (PremiumTimes)

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After over six years since the commencement of construction work at the Abuja-Kaduna Railway, the project was commissioned for operations by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, July 26, 2016.

While some Nigerians have traced the project's history to the administration of former president Olusegun Obasanjo, others are of the view that it was conceptualized by Late president Umar Musa Yar'Adua.

The $1.457 billion project was started by former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2009.

The train service is expected to provide Nigerians the much needed alternative link between the Federal Capital Territory and Kaduna state, a corridor which has a huge potential for industries, agricultural activities and a growing labour force.

Abuja-Kaduna Railway play

Abuja-Kaduna Railway (DailyPost)

 

Speaking at the train’s main station at Idu, President Buhari said; "the construction of the Abuja-Kaduna Standard Gauge rail track commenced in 2009 and happily, we are on the threshold of presenting to Nigerians a Standard Gauge Railway Train Service that will be safe, fast and reliable."

He continued: "The minister of transportation, Chief Rotimi Amaechi and his team have put great efforts in the last few months to ensure the successful completion of this project under this administration.

"Completion and commissioning of this project is indeed in keeping with our vision of bringing about the desired change to make life easier for the generality of Nigerians through the development and provision of the necessary social and physical infrastructure," the president said.

ALSO READ: Amaechi: Minister enjoys train ride as engineers complete Abuja-Kaduna rail route

Meanwhile, events surrounding the commissioning ceremony have continued to generate mixed reactions from Nigerians; most of which are divided along party lines. Some accuse the All Progressives Congress (APC) led government of taking glory for "a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) project."

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Buhari assured Nigerians that his administration would implement the twenty-five (25) year strategic railway master plan which is aimed at rehabilitating the existing 3,505km narrow gauge rail line and developing and constructing new standard gauge rail lines across the country.

Dignitaries present at the official commissioning of the project include Senate President Bukola Saraki; Speaker Yakubu Dogara; Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi among others.

The president later took a train ride from Idu Station to Kubwa, a satellite town in Abuja amidst tight security.

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