The Contractors are working round the clock to beat the deadline given to them by the President. The Rail line, links Ikot Ekpene, Umuahia, Enugu, Oturkpo, Makurdi, Lafia, Jos and Kaduna.
As part of its strategic plans for the development of rail infrastructure in Nigeria, the Federal Government has developed a comprehensive master plan for high speed rail across the federation.
The government had in its vision 20:20-20, through which it plans to launch the country into the league of one of the most 20 developed economies of the world come year 2020, said it is committed to the development of transport infrastructure, which it described as catalyst for the development of any economy.
Under the new master plan, which is part of 25-year development project for the rail system in the country covering the rehabilitation of the existing narrow gauge and construction of modern standard gauge, the government intends to run a sixstructure plan for the high speed rail lines covering the length and breadth of the nation.
The six–structure rail system comprises of the Eagle Line, which covers the high sped line from Lagos – Oshogbo-Abuja- Gombe and then down to Maiduguri while the Southern Line starts from Enugu-Benin City- Ikeja Lagos down to Cotonou in the Republic of Benin.
The River Line passes through Katsina-Kano-Kaduna-Abuja and terminates in Port Harcourt while the Eastern Line takes off from Kaduna-Jos-Makurdi and terminates at Ikot Ekpene. Similarly, the Delta Line covers Ibadan-Benin City-Port Harcourt and terminates in Calabar, the Cross River State capital while the Northern Line covers Sokoto-Kano-Maiduguri and terminates at N’Djamena, the Republic of Niger.
Deputy Director, Public Relations unit of the Nigerian Railway Corporation NRC, Mr. David Ndakotsu, who confirmed the development in a telephone interview, disclosed that the high speed rail project is the 4th phase of the Federal Government’s rail development project.
According to him, the government had before now concluded the first phase of the rail development and rehabilitation project, which includes the rehabilitation of most of the narrow gauge lines, which has also been concluded.
He also disclosed that the government is currently on the second phase of the 25-year development project, most of which comprise of the development of standard and modern gauge, which will be followed by the third phase, which covers strictly the standard gauge rail lines and to be followed by the fourth phase, which covers the high speed rail systems.
Minister of Transport, Mallam Idris Umar had during a ministerial media briefing on the midterm performance of the current administration, hinted that the government has done over 90 per cent of the rehabilitation of the entire existing narrow gauge lines spread across the country, most of which are at various stages of completion.