Buhari’s Free Train Services To Nigerians At Christmas Not Politically-Motivated, Says APC Chieftain, Eze


A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze  has stoutly defended the federal government’s decision to provide a free train service for some Nigerians during the Christmas celebration period.
Eze who out-rightly dismissed insinuations that the Government’s courtesy was a political gesture strategically devised by the Transportation Minister, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, to draw public attention to himself and the President Mohammadu Buhari led APC administration, said the decision to offer free train services for the festive period was borne out of compassion and the priority the Nigerian government places on citizens.
He revealed that passenger trains on both standard and narrow gauge lines, which include Abuja to Kaduna, Lagos to Ibadan, Warri to Itakpe, Kano to Lagos, Minna to Kaduna, Aba to Port-Harcourt routes will be free from Friday, December 24, 2021 to Tuesday, January 4, 2022.
Eze explained that the federal Government’s offer of a weeklong free train ride to Nigerians, to mark Christmas and new year was out of love and described the gesture as a demonstration of a cordial understanding of the effects of the current global economic realities and their corresponding impacts on Nigerians.
It will be recalled that the Federal Government announced the free train service on Friday in a notice issued by the Nigerian Railway Corporation with reference number PRO.14/TROPS/VOL.1/50, and signed by the Deputy Director, Public Relations, NRC, Yakub Mahmood.
The free train service was approved by the Federal Ministry of Transportation, according to the NRC, as it stressed that the gesture was for all its passenger train services across the country.
In a statement made available to media houses in Port Harcourt, Rivers state on Tuesday, Eze said “the Buhari/APC administration understands the basic needs of the people and knows how best to tackle their grounds of anxiety”, noting that “the free train service is one way the current administration has manifestly shown a deal of sensitive empathy towards the concerns of the Nigerian people especially during times of general discomfort”.
Similarly, Chief Eze commended President Buhari, the Minister of Transportation, Amaechi and the entire members of the federal Executive Council for the approval of funds totaling $11.17 billion for the Lagos – Calabar coastal rail project to link all coastal cities in the country by rail in six years.
Amaechi was also quoted as saying that the federal executive council had also approved Lagos-Calabar Coastal Standard Guage. “The council has given approval to commence the Lagos-Calabar Coastal rail.” He said. The importance being that, just like the Lagos-Kano route, the Lagos-Calabar route link all Coastal cities in the country. With an estimated cost of 11.17billion dollars for the projects, the proposed route alignment is as follows;
“Lagos to Sagamu, Sagamu to Ijebu-Ode, Ijebu-Ode to Ore, Ore to Benin City, Benin-City to Sapele, Sapele to Warri, Warri to Yenogoa, Yenegoa to Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt to Aba, Aba to Uyo, Uyo to Calabar, Calabar to Akamkpa to Ikom, Obudu Ranch with branch lines from Benin-City to Agbo, Ogwashi-ukwu, Asaba, Onitsha and Onitsha Bridge and then Port Harcourt to Onne Deep Sea Port.
Commending the Transportation Minister for his relentless efforts in ensuring that a bulk of ongoing rail projects are delivered before the end of Buhari administration, Eze hinted that the Transportation Minister through the support of relevant FG agencies, has resolved all financial constraints impeding the progress of some major rail projects across the country.
He further hinted that the 185.5km Lagos-Ibadan double standard gauge line with extension to Apapa seaport is already nearing completion, while the 186km Abuja-Kaduna and 302km Warri-Itakpe standard gauge lines have long been completed and functional and are already yielding economic


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