Nigeria Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi has disclosed the plans of the federal government to connect the industrial city of Nnewi to the Eastern narrow gauge railway.
Chibuike Amaechi who is a Presidential Hopeful under the platform of All Progressive Congress (APC), has said that the $1.96 billion Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Eastern Railway Corridor, which was launched last year will link 14 states, including the five South-east states of Abia, Anambra, Imo, Ebonyi and Enugu as well as nine others, which include, Rivers, Nasarawa, Benue, Plateau, Kaduna, Yobe, Borno, Bauchi, and Gombe.
The Minister while speaking during his visit to Owerri said that there are plans that the Eastern Rail Corridor and its extensions, which is being handled by China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) will connect Abakaliki, Onitsha, Nnewi, and Awka from Enugu.
According to him, the rail line connection from Enugu to Awka, Nnewi, Onitsha, and Abakaliki has undergone necessary Feasibility Studies, and that the conceptual design is ready for approval.
Chibuike, who is also the former Governor of River State said, that Onitsha is as important as Nnewi, because Nnewi is one of the growing industrial centers in Nigeria, noting that the earlier Nnewi is provided with logistics, the better for the country.
The Eastern narrow gauge railway is one of the transport infrastructure established in the pre-independence period and played a significant role in the development of agriculture and industrial sectors in the colonial era and immediate post-independence year up till 1985, when it became unfit for purpose as a result of the general neglect and divestment suffered by the railways.
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