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The China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) has hit the ground running on construction work of the 2044.1KM Port Harcourt to Maiduguri narrow gauge railway project to the South-South part of Nigeria to the North through the Eastern states.

Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, stated that work started on the project a few days ago, adding that the expectation is for the laying of rail track to reach Enugu, the Enugu State capital by September 2022.

The Minister on Sunday inspected the project in the company of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Magdalene Ajani, Engr. Fidet Okhiria, the Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), select members of transport journalists among others.

“From what I heard they started two or three ago. You cannot talk about the impression I have. You can only talk about impressions when you come here for three weeks and they are still here, if they move forward based on what we told them we can acknowledge the fact that they have moved forward.

“When it was inaugurated enough fund was not given to them. Now they have some level of funding, I hope we can secure the fund before they exhaust what they have” he said.

The Minister said some stations are yet to be approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), stressing that whenever a standard gauge is to be built on the line, it should be built in such a way that both the narrow gauge and standard gauge could share the same infrastructure.

He further noted that more security is needed to forestall any form of delay that may arise as a result of agitations from locals.

Amaechi said he expected CCECC to have cleared the track up to Imo River,

The Federal Government on the 10th of March, 2021kickstarted the $3 billion rehabilitation and reconstruction of the 1,443-kilometer (897-mile) Eastern Railway line that starts from the southeastern oil hub of Port Harcourt and terminates at the northeastern city of Maiduguri.

The rail line is expected to link Nigeria’s industrial and agriculture hubs, facilitating the easy movement of people, goods and services. When completed, it will connect Rivers, Abia, Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kaduna, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe and Borno states.