The recently rehabilitated Gombe-Kafancha-Kaduna intercity train services has been launched, by President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday in Gombe State, with the President, advising the people of the State to use the project for the development of the State’s economy.
Gov. Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State, who represented President Jonathan, said that the inauguration of the train services was critical to the growth and development of Gombe and other neighboring States.
“Though the inter-city service is not new to the agrarian communities of Gombe state, but for so many years in the recent past, the citizens have been yearning for the return of the mass carrier of passengers and freight.
“Today, we are telling the world that our railway that has been in comatose is fully back,” he said
Dankwambo who applauded President Goodluck Jonathan for this giant strides said, apart from the fact that the citizens will benefit from the transport scheme, they will also pay less using it.
He said this will also have positive effect on the prices of commodities, as it would reduce the cost.
Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, former Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, national chairman, and Chairman, Board of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, in his earlier remarks said the greatest glory in living ”is not in never faling, but rising up after a fall.
“Train services are back in Gombe. My good people of Gombe State, let us make a good use of this golden opportunity provided by the Federal Government, as a golden gift of the century,” he said.
He asserted that the services were capable of generating over 7,000 jobs for the people of the state.
Engr. Adeseyi Sijuwade, the Managing Director of the Corporation,said that the flag-off of Gombe-Kafancha-Kaduna train service followed the completion of the rehabilitation of additional 678km of the line from Makurdi to Gombe.
Sijuwade said that along with a 179km branch from Kafancha to Kaduna, the train service was being extended from Makurdi to Gombe, and also from Kafanchan to Kaduna.
“I am happy to report that today”s flag-off is one in the series of proposed flag-offs in the northern part of the eastern line.
“Once the challenges of insurgency are fully addressed, we will be able to complete the rehabilitation section of the Gombe –Maiduguri and also commence train services in the zone,” he said.