Port Harcourt-Aba train commences operation

A file photo of a train.

The Federal Government has launched the Port Harcourt to Aba rail service. The launch took place in Port Harcourt the Rivers State capital earlier on Wednesday.

Performing the ceremonial launch, the Minister of Transportation, Saidu Alkali, assured the people of the region that the trains will work properly to serve them.

He also promised that the expansion will continue until the Eastern Standard Gauge from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri is fully completed.

Following a short ceremony to fag off the train operation, the Minister and other officials present boarded the train for a ride to Aba.

The Managing Director of the NRC, Fidet Okhiria, was elated that he and his team were able to meet the April deadline set for them.

Speaking earlier in March, Okhiria said there are plans to link the Onne Port to the rails for the movement of goods to Aba, Umuahia, and Enugu.

The MD had said, “What I can tell Nigerians is that we were able to ride on a train, unlike last time when we went by road to Aba. We went on a train to Elelewa because we had other things to do,” he said.

“We looked at the Port Harcourt Port and see how we are going to access Onne from Elelewa. We did that and compared it to make they had put on ground as a preliminary design. Physical siting will make us make a quick decision on a final design so that we will able to recommend to the minister for approval.

“We just finished a meeting now and the timeline and everything. We are putting pressure that by the end of March, we should be able to start. That is what we have in mind.”