President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday commissioned two additional locomotives and 10 additional Passenger coaches for the Abuja-Kaduna Rail service at Rigasa train station in Kaduna.
The government said it procured the new vehicles to reduce the stress of passengers whose large volume currently overwhelms facilities.
The president in his address appreciated the Kaduna State Government, Ministry of Transportation and Nigerian Shippers’ Council for making the project a reality while assuring Nigerians that the six others will be completed in due course.
In his words: “Today in Kaduna I’m pleased to commission 2 additional locomotives & 10 additional Passenger coaches for the Abuja-Kaduna Rail service; and to commission the new Inland Container Depot. Nigeria’s infrastructure is being steadily upgraded, & our economy is set for jobs and growth.
Today is a landmark day for our importers and exporters. The Kaduna Inland Dry Port is the first proper Inland Dry Port to be completed among the seven approved across the country. Six others — in Ibadan, Aba, Kano, Jos, Funtua and Maiduguri — are at various stages of completion.
I congratulate the Kaduna State Govt, Ministry of Transportation, and Nigerian Shippers’ Council.
And let me specially commend the initiative of the Shippers’ Council, & the Kaduna Govt for facilitating the establishment of the Port by providing access roads and other utilities.
Our Customs and Ports officials must now make the Kaduna Inland Dry Port work. They must not frustrate business, commercial and industrial enterprises with unnecessary bureaucracy and delays. Our ‘ease of doing business’ attitude must be visible; we must make this Port work,” The president said.
Also delivering his speech at the commissioning, the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, said railway transport had nearly become a new phenomenon in Nigeria through the current efforts of government to expand its facilities.
“The indication is that we will no longer see ticket racketeering, nobody will be sending us text messages and video clips of passengers protesting at the train stations because of inadequate services,” Amaechi said.
The minister recalled that the standard gauge rail from Idu in Abuja to Rigasa in Kaduna was commissioned in July 2016 by President Buhari. The project was launched several years ago by the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo and sustained under former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Dignitaries who witnessed the ceremony include Mustapha Boss, Secretary to Government of the Federation; governors of Kano and Kaduna, Abdullahi Ganduje and Nasiru El-rufai respectively, and National Assembly members.
The president later took a train ride from Rigasa to Kakuri to commission the Inland Dry Port on the outskirts of Kaduna city.