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HomeLatestFG Kicks Off 62Km Port Harcourt-Aba Rail with Free Service

FG Kicks Off 62Km Port Harcourt-Aba Rail with Free Service

Toba Owojaiye reporting

Abuja, Nigeria

The Federal Government of Nigeria marked a significant milestone on Tuesday as it inaugurated commercial train operations along the Port Harcourt-Aba rail line, signaling a major step towards enhancing trade and connectivity in the region.

The Minister of Transportation, Said Alkali, presided over the inauguration ceremony at the railway station in Port Harcourt, where he launched commercial services along the 62-kilometre corridor.

Truth Live News gathered that Alkali emphasized that the event was part of the government’s broader efforts to stimulate trade, improve mobility, and foster connectivity between the southern and northeastern regions of Nigeria.

He highlighted that the rehabilitation project was entrusted to the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company by the Federal Ministry of Transportation, with an expected completion time of 36 months.

“The scope of the project covers the rehabilitation of the existing narrow gauge railway line, the construction of new modern stations, and the procurement of new modern rolling stock,” the minister explained.

“This railway line will also link the ports of Onne, Bonny, and Port Harcourt to facilitate the evacuation of goods and other freight through the Eastern Corridor.”

In the contractual agreement, the Federal Government is committed to providing 15 per cent of the direct construction cost, inclusive of land acquisition and value-added tax, while a bank loan through direct construction cost is set to cover 85 per cent of the project, Alkali added.

The commencement of operations on the Port Harcourt-Aba rail line is expected to boost economic activities between the South-South and South-East regions of the country, pending the completion of the other sections of the project.

“With the completion of the rehabilitation of the Port-Harcourt to Aba rail corridor, the Ministry will continue to vigorously drive CCECC towards the speedy completion and delivery of the 181-kilometre Aba-Enugu stretch,” he stated.

The inaugural train ride from Port Harcourt to Aba on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, marked the beginning of public usage of the rail line. Following this, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) announced that train rides within the corridor will be free of charge from May 1 to May 4, 2024, encouraging the public to explore this safe, fast, and reliable means of transportation.

Departure times for the free rides are set at 8:00hrs from Port Harcourt, reaching Aba at 10:15hrs, and departing from Aba at 15:00hrs, arriving at Port Harcourt at 17:15hrs.

After the expiration of the free train ride period, the fare for the journey will be as follows:

– Port Harcourt to Aba: N1,500 for first-class coach.

– Port Harcourt to Aba: N800 for second-class coach.

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