By Laleye Dipo in Minna
The Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani-Bello, has appealed to the federal government to reactivate the Minna-Baro railway line.
The governor also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to consider the construction of a light gauge rail line between Minna and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Governor Bello said the two projects if embarked upon would boost the economy of both the state and several northern states in the country apart from easing the pressure on the roads.
Specifically the governor said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Jibrin Ndace after the governor took a train ride from Abuja to Kaduna last weekend that the reactivation of the Baro rail line would make the Baro port more effective after its completion.
“Another critical rail route that we in Niger State will want the federal government to attend to is the reactivation of Minna-Baro line. This will go a long way to ease movement from the Baro Port to other hinterlands of northern Nigeria,” the governor was quoted as saying.
The governor was also quoted as saying that work on the dredging of the Baro Inland Port was nearing completion and as such, the rail line would be needed for the evacuation of goods.
The statement also said Bello was impressed by the quality of service during the two-hour trip from Idu railway station in Abuja to Rigasa in Kaduna and therefore commended the foresight of the federal government for providing the train service.
“The quality of service, the timeliness of movement of the train and the courtesy by the staff are reflections of the dream President Buhari envisioned. The train left promptly and arrived Kaduna on schedule.
“The actualisation of Abuja-Kaduna train service is an attestation to the resolve and commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to fixing Nigeria,” the statement said.