20 New Rail Coaches’ll Arrive In Six Weeks – Amaechi
The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has said 20 new coaches for the Abuja-Kaduna and the Lagos-Ibadan rail lines will arrive in the country in about six weeks.
He disclosed this while fielding questions from newsmen on his arrival from China at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Sunday, according to a statement.
On the purpose of his visit to China, he said, “We went for two items; basically to get more locomotives and coaches. They’re all ready. It will take six weeks to get to Nigeria and maybe one week to clear them. For the Lagos trains, it will be easy; it will take a day or two to get it to the track.
“But for the trains coming to Abuja, it will take one week or two to get it here. To my surprise, the coaches we released two or three weeks ago to go to Kaduna arrived just within two days. So, we hope that when these trains arrive in Lagos seaport, we should be able to get them fast.
“We are expecting 20 coaches – 10 for Abuja-Kaduna and 10 for Lagos-Ibadan as a temporary measure; more will then arrive in the second batch as we complete Lagos-Ibadan,” Amaechi added.
According to the statement, the minister did a test run on the locomotives and motored cars while taking delivery of the newly built trains in China.
He said more trains were still being built for Nigeria and “the next batch would be delivered as soon as they are ready.”
Amaechi said, “What is critical to the sustenance of our railway system is what we are doing in China. We are training our people; the Chinese won’t live here forever. They have to go, so our own engineers will take over; and I met with some of those Nigerian engineers during my China trip. We hope that in the coming years, they will come back and then we can stop the Chinese maintenance contract in both Kaduna-Abuja and Lagos-Ibadan.”
The minister said the Warri-Itakpe railway would be completed early next year.