In Kaduna, Policeman injures NAN reporter

Transport Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mrs. Taiye Edeni was on Thursday injured in her right eye by a policeman at the inauguration of first Inland Dry Port by President Muhammadu Buhari in Kaduna.

The correspondent was given first aide treatment at the venue by the Red Cross and returned to cover the assignment.

According to her, President Buhari who performed the inauguration restated the Federal Government’s commitment to vigorously pursue rail development in Nigeria through the implementation of the railway master plan.

Buhari said this during the commissioning of additional locomotives and coaches at Rigasa Station in Kaduna State.

He noted that the Abuja-Kaduna rail line was a major achievement because it has met the needs of the masses, just as he reiterated his administration’s commitment to linking all major commercial and production centres by rail for rapid social economic development and improving the quality of life of the citizens as well as improving the national integration.

Buhari said, “you may also recall that during the commissioning in July 2016, I reiterated our commitment to vigorously pursue rail development in Nigeria through the implementation of the 25 years strategic Railway Master Plan.

“ We are encouraging private sector participation in Railway with negotiation ongoing with the General Electric (GE) on the concessioning of the narrow gauge lines.

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“We are moving forward to more efficient narrow gauge lines to be driven by the private sector, it’s on the basis of this, that we are creating a more conducive environment for private sector participation.

“By strengthening our legal and regulatory frameworks and we reassure Nigerians that we are committed in linking all commercial sector with railway which will improve the quality of life and bring about national integration”, the President added.

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi assured that the two locomotives and 10 coaches would resolve the high demand of passengers on the Abuja-Kaduna train service.

He stressed that the commissioning is a clear demonstration of a functional transport system which is the administration mandate.

Also, he explained that the train was carrying 1,280 passengers on a round trip daily noting that these new coaches would help improve their services and some coaches will also be deployed to Warri-Itakpe Standard gauge line.

Amaechi further maintained that with this new executive coaches, express train service will be introduced with only one stop at Kubwa station and the problem of racketeering on that route will be resolved.

In a related development, the minister disclosed that the Warri-Itakpe rail line would be completed in Sept. 2018 as work is progressing on the Lagos-Kano rail line.

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