The Federal Ministry of Transportation has announced the commissioning of the Itakpe – Warri Rail line and Railway Ancillary Facility Yard by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, September 29,2020.
A statement issued by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Magdalene Anjali said the event will hold at the Goodluck Jonathan’s Railway Complex, Agbor,Delta State at 11:am
The Itakpe-Warri Rail was constructed by the Babangida administration in 1987 but abandoned until 30 years later, in 2017 , two years after the Buhari’s government birthed and saw the need to regenerate it to ease Transportation of goods and services.
The Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi visited the project in 2017, and commenced work on it in 2018, Two years after, the project is ready to go.
A media aide to the Minister, Israel Ibeleme who recalled his experience in course of the process leading to the commencement of the Rail project said Warri-Itakpe Railway was a thick forest when he visited their along with his Boss, Amaechi the Minister of Transportation in 2017 and navigation through the forest was difficult and scary.”It was a thick forest and we could not gain access to the facilities as they were dilapidated after being abandoned for several years”
“When my Boss, the Honourable Minister said he needed pictures to send to Mr President to help facilitate the reconstruction of the Itakpe-Ajaokuta -Warri Railway,I swung into action and I had to enter the place which was a thick forest.
Unfortunately,I lost my way.When they were set to take off, the Minister noticed I was not with the team and they thought I had been kidnapped.My boss had to send a team of security personnel led by his former CSO,Tony Iwelu (deceased) to search and rescue me.And i remain deeply grateful for that”
An obviously overjoyed Ibeleme said”As a Niger Deltan,Iam happy that this administration has revived this project after more than 30 years of abandonment”
Speaking to current matters on the proposed commissioning on Sunday,A member of PANDEF and Niger Delta Elder and opinion leader,Chief Anabs Sara-Igbe said the project is a welcome development .He however said it would bring the desired jubilation to the people of the Niger Delta if the rail was connected to Abuja.It won’t make sense if one has to travel to Itakpe and then take vehicle to Abuja.
He said” It is a welcome development but it is only for transporting iron ore from Itakpe to Warri.Otherwise do you expect the Warri man to go to Itakpe and start looking for vehicle to go to Abuja?
“When Railway goes to Abuja then it will make sense to all of us and we will appreciate because I live in Warri.”