Lagos, other states get green light to run railways, generate power – Newstrends
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Lagos, other states get green light to run railways, generate power

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State governments can now build and run railway systems independently.

This became a reality on Friday after President Muhammadu Buhari signed the amended railway bill into a law.

With the President’s assent, the amended Railway Act has been moved from exclusive legislative list to concurrent.

Senator Babajide Omoworare, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), in a statement confirmed the development.

It was one of the 16 Constitution Amendment Bills the President signed into law.

It also includes granting state houses of assembly constitutional financial independence and power to license, generate, transmit and distribute electricity.

The signing of the amended railway act is coming barely a month after Lagos State Government inaugurated its first mass transit light train codenamed Blue Rail.

Incidentally, Buhari was given the opportunity to launch the completed new rail project.

The line is currently being test-run by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority for members of the public.

LAMATA could however not commence commercial operations of the Blue Rail before now because of the legislative encumbrance.

The state government plans to build seven rail lines linking different parts of the state over a period of time.

Some other state governments have indicated interest to start rail projects.

The Federal Capital Territory Authority’s undertaken rail project can now be operated independently.

Now that the bills have been assented to, and have become Acts of Parliament, the next step is the gazetting. This is the process by which the assented Acts are published in the Official Gazette of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He said other bills are to enable states generate, transmit, and distribute electricity in areas covered by the national grid; and for related matters.

Railway

We’ll start running Apapa/Lagos-Kano freight train next month – Minister Alkali  

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We’ll start running Apapa/Lagos-Kano freight train next month – Minister Alkali  

 

Minister of Transportation, Senator Saidu Ahmed Alkali, has said freight train from Apapa in Lagos to Kano will commence operations by the end of the this quarters.

He also said construction of standard gauge rail line from Ibadan to Abuja would start soon.

He spoke in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital when he paid a visit to the state governor Dapo Abiodun.

The minister accompanied by states commissioners of transportation were in Abeokuta for the 18th edition of the National Council on Transportation.

Alkali said the Nigerian Railway Corporation had started the movement of 90 containers daily at the APMT terminal Apapa to Ibadan.

He said that the ministry was currently in high-level discussions with foreign investors to see how the transportation sector could be fixed.

“In December last year, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu directed the Vice President to lead a delegation to attend a conference in Beijing.

“The Vice President was privileged to hold a bilateral discussion with the Chinese President, among the issues raised was in respect of our railway modernisation project.

“The project was segmented initially. From Lagos to Ibadan was completed and put into use, and Abuja to Kaduna, Warri to Itakpe. We are looking at the possibility of continuing the project from Ibadan to Abuja and from Kaduna to Kano,” he said.

The minister commended Governor Abiodun for the great work in the transportation sector he had started in the state.

The governor responding said plans by the Federal Government to connect industrial zones in the country through rail lines would reduce pressure on the highways and prolong their lifespan.

The governor also noted that the resuscitation of the narrow gauge from Ibadan to Abuja, when completed, would give investors the opportunity to wheel cargo all the way from Lagos to Kano State and improve trade and commerce.

A statement from the state government House on Friday said the governor commended the minister for the bold steps being taken to reposition the transportation sector of the country.

He noted that the plan by the Ministry of Transportation to resuscitate the Kaduna to Kano rail line would further open up the country for commerce.

“I am very glad about the laudable achievements under your watch. The initiatives that you’re championing, the intervention you have sought from the Chinese to resuscitate the Kaduna to Kano line so that you will now have the connection all the way from Lagos, Ogun, Ibadan, Abuja, Kaduna and Kano.

“You admitted to me that you are thinking of how to connect our industrial zones together so you can deemphasis vehicular transportation whilst connecting the Badagry Port to the rail line that will connect with the Lagos to Kano line, also thinking of a line that will go from Lekki port to Ijebu-Ode and connect to Kajola.

“This is indeed very laudable thinking. This is what you see when you put people who have the requisite experience and capacity in position of authority, ” he said.

The governor added that his administration, upon realising the importance of the transportation sector, quickly created a ministry that would see to the running of the sector in the state.

“We understand the importance of the ministry of transportation when I assumed office. We didn’t have that ministry in Ogun State. We had the Ministry of Works, and for some strange reasons, my predecessor assumed that the Commissioner for Works can carry out the responsibilities of the Commissioner for Transportation.

Abiodun said his administration was committed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s vision of Renewed Hope, adding that the state under his watch would continue to put the people first.

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NRC set to resume train services on Lagos-Kano narrow gauge track

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NRC set to resume train services on Lagos-Kano narrow gauge track 

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC)  says it will soon resume express train services on the Kano-Lagos narrow gauge rail line.

This was made known in a post by the NRC on its official X handle on Saturday.

“Kano-Lagos train services to commence operation soon,” the post read.

The post on X also included a short video footage of a locomotive undergoing a test-run on the tracks.

The NRC noted that major repairs had been completed on the damaged portions of the Kano-Lagos narrow gauge, further affirming the imminent restoration of express train services on the route.

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“Test-running of the train after major repairs that have been carried out on the damaged portions of the rail tracks.

“The narrow-gauge train services will be fully back in operation for the benefit of the Nigerian masses and easy transportation of goods and services in the country,” the tweet read.

Newstrends had reported the Managing Director of the NRC, Fidet Okhiria, during an end-of-year interactive session with journalists in Lagos in December 2023 that the corporation was laying tracks on damaged portions of the Kano-Lagos narrow gauge corridor.

He added that the successful relocation of locomotives and wagons to Minna, destined for Kaduna, in preparation for restoring operations on the Kano-Lagos corridor.

NRC set to resume train services on Lagos-Kano narrow gauge track

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We’ll deliver Abuja rail mass transit May 29 – Wike

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We’ll deliver Abuja rail mass transit May 29 – Wike

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Nyesom Wike, says that the FCT Administration will deliver the Abuja Rail Mass Transit (ARMT) project on May 29, this year.
He stated this after an inspection tour of the project in Abuja on Thursday.
He said, “I believe that if we put all our energy into it, we may achieve it. I have also disbursed the funds for access roads; so we have no excuse.”
The FCTA announced in August 2023 the award of a N5 billion contract for the rehabilitation of the ARMT system.
The contract was awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Ltd. (CCECC), to be delivered within eight months.
Wike had identified the ARMT as one of the projects that would be commissioned on May 29 to mark President Bola Tinubu’s one year in office.
The minister expressed dissatisfaction with the project following the persistent vandalisation and stealing of critical facilities and equipment of the rail system.
He had said, “This is one project that I am so compassionate about, and you know that Mr President has given me a directive that must not be taken for granted.
“When we first visited the metro station, I discovered that there were many security lapses. I remember when I first came after our inauguration, I did say that we would have to work on the issue of security by putting a fence around the Metro Station to fend off criminals.”

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