The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, said monday that the Abuja-Kaduna rail project would be inaugurated on July 26 at Idu, Abuja.
Amaechi made this known this in an interview with journalists in Abuja.
He said free test-run service started in June while awaiting the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The minister, however, said after the official launch on July 26, commercial services would start immediately.
“The president has approved 26 of this month for the official launching of the project and we have agreed that before the inauguration, we will visit the place.
“So, the final inspection will be on July 21, 2016,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that four coaches with a passenger capacity of 380 are currently on ground to convey travellers from Idu to Kaduna.
Meanwhile, Amaechi has said the federal government is repositioning the Nigeria Maritime and Security Agency (NIMASA) so as to bring about effective performance in the agency.
He disclosed this yesterday in Abuja when he received the Ministerial Committee on NIMASA for Restructuring and Effective Performance led by its Director General, Dr Dakuku Peterside.
Amaechi also explained that when repositioned, NIMASA would generate more income for government and improve on quality service delivery.
“Let me thank the committee, it’s almost two months since you were inaugurated. Let me also thank those of you in the private sector, for those of you who took your time, your energy, I must thank you in the manner that would show the appreciation of the Federal Government and the Ministry of Transportation for accepting to serve. One of the reasons why I set up the committee was my visit to NIMASA. I asked a question, what does NIMASA do? They had what they call “Search and Rescue Centre,” they also had what they call “Search and Rescue Clinic”.
“If you go there, even when I asked the lady doctor who was there, I said do you work here. She said yes, and I asked again, do you like this place? She said no. Now, all the billions we hear, may be its right, may be its wrong, that’s what I need to know when the auditor goes round. We are in the process of appointing an auditor to audit NIMASA, NPA…May be when the auditor goes round and comes back, the responsibility of the matter will be clearer.”
Earlier, Director General of NIMASA, Peterside, said: “Sir, on the 17th of May you inaugurated a committee to draw a frame work for the restructuring and reform of Nigeria’s Maritime Regulator in NIMASA. The committee was inaugurated in acknowledgment of the fact that NIMASA was not operating optimally, efficient and effective manner and that there was urgent need to restructure NIMASA if our dream of making Nigeria the hub of maritime industry in West Africa must be realised.”