Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail will revive North-South economy – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has said the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Port Harcourt–Maiduguri Eastern Narrow Gauge railway project will revive economic activities in the Eastern corridor.
Buhari stated this on Tuesday during the virtual ground-breaking ceremony of the project and two other projects; which are the Bonny Deep Sea Port on Bonny Island and Railway Industrial Park in Port Harcourt.
In highlighting the benefits of the projects, Buhari said it will create massive employment opportunities locally, increase in internally generated revenue (IGR) among others.
The President added that the projects “would serve as a fulcrum for the achievement of Federal Government’s planned Integrated Development Master plan.”
Buhari said “The connection of the railway to a new seaport on Bonny Island and Railway Industrial Park in Port Harcourt is designed to increase the viability and boost trans-shipment of cargo and freight locally, across the West African sub-region and in the Continental Free Trade Area.
“The sum of the socio-economic and environmental benefits of these projects includes creation of massive employment, locally.
“In addition, there will be further utilisation of local contents and technology transfer, increase in internally generated revenue (IGR) and would serve as a fulcrum for the achievement of Federal Government’s planned Integrated Development Masterplan.”
President Buhari went further to said that the rail project which has new branch lines to Owerri, the Imo State capital, and Damaturu, the Yobe State capital is designed to meet the transportation demand of the Northeast and the South.
“We are further expanding it to achieve contemporary demand for transport in the Northeast and the South.
“It is also designed to link other standard gauge rail lines under construction through the provision of trans-shipment centres.
“The funding of the railway is through a loan to fund 85 per cent project cost and the Federal Government contribution of 15 per cent as counterpart funding,” he said.