The Nigerian Railway Corporation has officially announced its plans to initiate train services from Port Harcourt to Aba, marking a significant development following the successful completion of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Eastern-Narrow-Gauge Railway project’s renovation. Freeborn Okhoria, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Railway Corporation, shared this promising news after leading a comprehensive inspection of the project site in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
In expressing the commitment of the Ministry and the NRC to expedite the commencement of operations on the Port Harcourt to Aba rail line, Okhoria highlighted their collaborative efforts to ensure a swift initiation of train services. He stated, “The Ministry and the NRC have been under pressure to deliver this so that the operations can start. They are working hard to ensure that very soon the operations will start.”
Furthermore, Okhoria disclosed the corporation’s contemplation of extending the rail line to Umuahia and Enugu once activities are underway on the Port Harcourt-Aba line. He mentioned the imminent discussions to create a timeline for these additional expansions. “Very soon we will start enjoying train rides from Port Harcourt to Aba while even looking at extending to Umuahia and Enugu,” he affirmed.
Concerning the implementation details and potential challenges, Okhoria addressed the necessity of timely action to prevent deterioration and vandalism of the railway track. He stated, “We are looking at days at most months because if you don’t start running on this track, you leave it, it will go bad and vandals may take possession.”
Summing up the importance of a coordinated approach, Okhoria emphasized the need for synchronization with operations to safeguard against potential vandalism. “So we are now going to meet and work out a possible plan because we have to synchronize with operations to make sure that when they put it, it is not going to be vandalized,” he explained.
The forthcoming train services from Port Harcourt to Aba are poised to enhance transportation connectivity and accessibility in the region, demonstrating the ongoing efforts to revitalize and expand the railway network in Nigeria.