- Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri Rail Ready Next Year — Minister
The Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri standard gauge rail line will be ready for commercial use next year, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said.
The minister dropped the hint while addressing journalists at the Agbor Railway Station 7 shortly after inspecting the facility.
The minister said that the 34-year-old rail line was originally conceived to serve as a heavy duty carrier of raw materials to service Ajaokuta Steel Company, Aladja Steel Company and National Iron Ore Mining Company Itakpe.
“But considering the number of years it had been lying fallow without being put to any use, the facility will now serve the dual purpose of ferrying passengers across the region as well as its original purpose of conveying raw materials to feed Ajaokuta, Aladja and Itakpe,” he stated.
This, Amaechi said, was the reason why some platforms and eight stations were being built to extend to Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, to cater for the needs of passengers.
The minister explained that the 302km rail line, the longest in the country, would move 900 passengers daily when in use as from next year.
Eight out of the 12 stations from Itakpe to Warri have been built, while work is ongoing on the remaining four stations.
The minister said that although the project was scheduled to be delivered next year, the contractor was being compelled to make it ready for use by the end of this year.
He urged the contractor handling the stations to expedite action on the construction and not to lose sight of important facilities such as eateries at the stations so as to meet the agreed deadline.
The Project Manager, Chiedu Nwazojie, stated that the project would be delivered on schedule in spite of a pocket of challenges, including some community people stopping the contractor from working on some days.
He said the trains, when fully operational, would do 100 kilometres per hour.
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Nigeria’s Presidential CNG Initiative Allocates N100bn for CNG Buses and EV Adoption
The Presidential Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Initiative has allocated N100 billion to expedite the deployment of CNG buses nationwide, according to a statement released on Wednesday.
The initiative, designed to catalyze an Auto-gas and Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution in mass transit and transportation, aims to enhance sustainability and cost-effectiveness.
The statement revealed that the fund would be instrumental in supporting the adoption of auto-gas and electric vehicles, signaling a commitment to a more sustainable and economical future in the transportation sector.
The Presidential CNG Initiative plans to leverage over 11,500 CNG and electric-fueled vehicles, along with the deployment of 55,000 conversion kits.
This strategic approach is intended to reduce transportation costs for Nigerians and mitigate the challenges posed by the rising cost of living.
Under the Renewed Hope Agenda, the Presidential CNG Initiative is dedicated to realizing the President’s vision, guided by its steering committee led by FIRS Chairman Zacch Adedeji.
The statement highlighted recent achievements, including strategic technical partnerships and the ongoing commissioning of CNG Conversion centers in key states such as Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Ogun, and Rivers.
Several more centers are slated for commissioning in the coming weeks, reflecting the initiative’s momentum and commitment to achieving its objectives.
Nigeria’s Power Transformation: 53 Projects Worth N122bn on Track for May 2024 Completion
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and power distribution companies, is set to complete 53 power projects by May next year.
Valued at N122 billion, these projects aim to add over 1,000 megawatts to TCN’s wheeling capacity.
During a recent tour of three ongoing projects in Lagos, TCN’s Programme Coordinator, Mathew Ajibade, assured that the projects were not abandoned, refuting speculations.
He confirmed that work is progressing smoothly and is expected to be completed by May 2024, as initially planned.
Assistant Director/Head of Infrastructure Finance Office at the CBN, Tumba Tijani, highlighted the CBN’s support for the power sector, revealing that the bank released a loan at a 9% interest rate in August last year for the projects.
The funding, part of the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility-3, amounts to N122,289,344 and aims to address transmission/distribution bottlenecks, enhance supply to end-users, and unlock unutilized generation capacity.
Tijani disclosed that N85.43 billion has been disbursed into the Advance Payment Guarantee account of the 53 contractors responsible for executing the projects.
The comprehensive project list includes the delivery of power transformers, re-conductoring existing transmission lines, upgrading existing substations, and constructing 33KV line bays.
The initiative reflects a concerted effort to enhance Nigeria’s power infrastructure and meet growing energy demands.
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