By Emman Ovuakporie
The House of Representatives on Tuesday asked the Federal Government to extend the Lagos-Kano standard gauge railway line to the Sanusi Railway Station near Igboora in the Ibarapa axis of Oyo state and make it functional.
This development was sequel to the adoption of a motion promoted by Hon. Ajibola S. Muraina calling attention to the economic importance of such an extension to the people of the area.
Muraina while moving the motion noted that in 2006, the Federal Government awarded an 8.3 billion US Dollar contract to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) to construct a standard gauge railway from Lagos to Kano.
The Oyo state born lawmaker said due to the inability to secure funding for the whole project, the Federal Government decided to build the standard gauge line in segments, and rehabilitate the narrow–gauge line in the meantime.
He said the project commenced with the construction of 187km segment from Abuja to Kaduna on February 20, 2011, and was completed and inaugurated on 26 July 2016.
He however expressed worries that the Federal Government failed or refused to rehabilitate the old railway lines or extend the new standard gauge railway lines to some key existing railway stations.
According to him, leaving such key stations out would reduce the benefits and economic impacts the original concept of the project would have had on Nigerians.
The House adopted the motion and mandated its Committee on Land Transport to ensure compliance, and report back accordingly.