The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Sunday announced the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari government to name the Warri Rail Station after former President Goodluck Jonathan - which is an act of immortalisation.
Speaking during an Instagram Live conversation with veteran journalist, Dele Momodu, the minister said the Itapke-Warri rail line having been completed is due for commissioning by President Muhammdu Buhari but for the emergence of COVID-19.
He explained that the Federal government resolved to name the Warri Yard station after former President Jonathan because of his administration’s immense contribution to the project.
The rail service has 12 stations with two located between Itakpe, Ajaokuta and Warri; Itakpe; Eganiy; Adogbe; Itogbo; Aghenebode; Uromi; Egehen; Igbanke; Agbor; Abraka; Okpara and Ujewu stations
The line, which was started in 1987, was built to move iron ore from mines around Itakpe to the steelworks at Ajaokuta but was abandoned for many years before construction resumed during Buhari’s first term in office.
Amaechi further disclosed that there is a plan to construct a yard at the Warri Rail Station where trail equipments can be fabricated and produced.
He also said 1000 housing units are being constructed at the Warri yard for Nigerian Railway workers.
According to Amaechi, “When I was appointed the minister for transportation, the president warned ‘do not start new contracts, go and complete old ones’.
“We met Itakpe-Warri rail line which had been in existence for 34 years uncompleted; it would have been the first standard gauge line in Africa if it was completed.
“Based on the president’s instruction, I did a memo; I thought we will borrow money from China but the president refused. He said we should use our internal funds to execute the project.
“Now the project is ready for Commissioning but because of Coronavirus everything is on hold. And you know the President is a shy person. He doesn’t like public show.
“What he said is that let’s just focus on our achievements and by the time we leave office people will see what we have done but some of us are insisting that we commission some of our projects. We have decided to name it after former President Goodluck Jonathan."