The National Assembly has commended the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) for its ‘revolutionary drive’ in the railway sub-sector, even as the lawmakers anticipated that the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line project would be inaugurated in April 2020 as promised by the corporation.
The Joint Committee on Land Transport of the National Assembly, during their legislative oversight functions and inspection of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line, assured Nigerians of its unflinching supports to the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
In another development, the members of the joint committee charged the NRC to ease the burden on Nigerian roads and the suffering masses by connecting the standard gauge to the airport and Tincan ports as well as connecting all the state capital by rail lines.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on land Transport, Abdulfatai Buhari, who led the delegation on inspection of the Lagos-Abeokuta section of the standard gauge, expressed satisfaction on the present level of the ongoing project.
Buhari, while addressing journalists at the Abeokuta train station, said the railway sector has justified the monies appropriated to them in the 2019 budget.
He noted that another money had just been appropriated three days ago to further reinforce work, adding that the present administration has taken transport sector as the major cardinal project, saying the committee was very happy with the job done so far at Lagos-Ibadan rail line project.
According to him, “Our intention was to get to Ibadan, but we couldn’t and the beauty of it all is that the train has been taking people freely from Lagos to Ibadan.
“This idea of free train ride is to ameliorate the suffering of our people especially during this festive period where our people would want to go home for Xmas or New Year celebration.
“We are looking towards April 2020 for official inauguration of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line, and as soon as possible, the Ibadan-Kano axis will begin, as the project that was initially pegged for three years had been achieved within two years. This is a reflection of good governance and better administration.
He added: “Rail system will serve as alternative to road transport and it will expand life span of the Nigerian roads. Rail transport is key to the development of countries like Singapore, America, where people are not too bothered about buying cars because it’s faster, cheaper, timing and affordable.