Nigeria’s Ministry of Transportation has confirmed that the construction of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail link Project has recommenced after its stall in 2021. The rail link project aims to enhance regional trade and help Nigeria reestablish itself with a good railway system in West Africa. The construction company mandated with the project is China Railway Construction Corporation’s subsidiary. The China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCCECC) is the company granted the contract for the project. The Ministry of Transportation has insight that the project will be significant in Nigeria’s industrialization and urbanization. It will also facilitate boosting resource development and employment in Nigeria. The completion of track laying from Port Harcourt to Aba is a major milestone in the project which spans east to north.
The scope of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Rail Link Project
The eastern section of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Rail Link project network connects various cities in Nigeria’s eastern area. It is expected that the rail link will pass through 12 states. The project is said to include the building of additional branch tracks. This will enhance the growth of the current eastern railway. The major scope of the construction project is the renovation and restoration of the rail tracks between Port Harcourt and Maiduguri. This will immensely facilitate the construction of a good rail system in Nigeria. It will also facilitate the growth of the current eastern railway. The railway is in a bid to lead the continent in its trade and would be a flop if Nigeria does not develop rail systems.
The Significance of the Rail Link
The Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Rail Link Project will be fundamental in connecting the seaports to move goods in West Africa and Central Africa. The federal government started the construction of the rail link last year in March. Its scope entailed the repair and reconstruction of the 1,443-kilometer Eastern Railway Line. The line runs from the southeastern oil center of Port Harcourt to Maiduguri in the northeast. It would link Rivers, Abia, Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kaduna, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe, and Borno states when completely operational. Once the rail link is completed, Nigerians would enjoy good trade and access to the market, and business places easily. It will also boost agricultural production and its movement.
The State of Affairs over the Port-Harcourt Rail Link Project
The office of the current Minister of Transportation has confirmed what is happening, saying construction of the rail link has since commenced. Some loyalists of the former transportation minister and governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, have started beating their chests. They are proud that it has become clear that the project was never abandoned as was widely speculated. This is especially by those who wanted to ridicule the former governor before his people. The current transport minister said those accusing Amaechi of abandoning the eastern railway corridor project have turned out as mere mischief makers. The rail link was to be completed by November 2023 but the timeline did not pan out as expected.