SWITZERLAND, JANUARY 21: The rehabilitation of the 320 kilometre railway line linking Warri to Ajaokuta and Itakpe has been completed and ready for commissioning by president Muhammadu Buhari.
The Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi announced this on Tuesday.
“The Itakpe-Warri rail line project is now complete and ready for commissioning. President Buhari will do the honours,” Amaechi tweeted on Tuesday morning.
In 2017, Amaechi announced the rehabilitation of the central rail line, but this time, for passenger services. The vandalised section of the rail line was given to China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), and disclosed that Julius Berger, the original contractors, would handle the construction of 99 bridges and flyovers, and also refurbish the 178km yard in Agbor.
The history of Itakpe-Warri rail line is almost as old as the popular Ajaokuta Steel Company. And as an adjunct facility to the steel complex, they have shared same fate of huge economic potential but perpetually in the making.
After several failed attempts at privatisation of the albatross, the current administration picked part of the pieces – the Itakpe-Warri rail line – for a turnaround, as part of its agenda to revive rail transportation nationwide.
In 2017, Amaechi said the government was funding the revival of the rail line at a cost estimate $200 million (N72 billion). The stations include Itakpe, Eganiy and Adobe. Others are: Itogbo, Age Ebode, Uromu, Egehen, Igbanke, Agbor, Abraka, Okpara, and Ujewu.