September 29, 2023


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Transportation Minister ask to continue the transformation of the rail sector.

By: Afolabi Oyekunle.

Transport Correspondents Association of Nigeria (TCAN) has challenged the new minister of Transportation, Senator Sa’idu Alkali, to transform the transportation sector and leave indelible footprints like his predecessors.

.In a statement issued and signed by its Chairman, Adeyinka Aderibigbe and Secretary, Fidelis Ugbomeh, the group expressed happiness that the mantle of leadership fell on the laps of Alkali at this time, when the eyes of all Nigerians are on the President to provide palliatives that would bring the needed relief, especially in the area of transportation.

Transport Minister

While congratulating the new minister, the association comprising representatives of various print, electronic and online media covering the transportation sector urged him to sustain the legacy of the Buhari administration on rail transformation by continuing all ongoing railway rehabilitation and modernisation agenda of the federal government.

The Association urged him to put to rest, as a matter of urgency, the current Nigerian Railway Masterplan, the 25 year roadmap, which would come to term in 2025, adding that the minister should as quickly as possible set up a committee of vvvexperts vvvbvvvexperts to review the current roadmap babe take a holistic review of all that happened in the sector in the last 10 years to develop another long term roadmap for Nigeria’s railway sector.

According to the statement, “One of the areas on which work must be expedited is the rehabilitation of the Eastern narrow gauge Line which runs from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri.

“Even on the Western Line, the rehabilitation of the narrow gauge rehabilitation must be sustained as it remains a major route till date for cargo freight from Lagos to the commercial city of Kano.”

Also, the minister is tasked to reactivate the third and final lot of the Western Line Standard Gauge railway called the Lagos – Kano rail, which presently stopped at Ibadan, even as it stated that work must begin on the Kano-Katsina-Maradi Standard Gauge Rail line stalled by insecurity in the Northwest zone.

TCAN urged the minister not to lose sight of the specialised University of Transportation in Daura, and ensure it fully comes on stream to help Nigeria to build requisite manpower to man the sector.

It urged the Minister among other things to coordinate all transportation interventions proposed by the Federal Government and interface with the state governments such as coordinating the mass transit buses, which the government promised to distribute among the states and bus operators, and the take-off of the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), and electric vehicle alternative that the government proposes to replace dependence on fossil fuel on which subsidy has been removed.

But beyond the palliative assignment which TCAN in the statement said may define the trajectory of Alkali’s tenure, it argued that the Minister must ensure that transportation contributes more to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).


It urged the minister to ensure the full implementation of all resolutions of the National Council on Transportation (NCT), which is the highest national advisory body, which was composed of all commissioners of transportation, one of which was to ensure that all states of the federation must establish a ministry of transportation. They said it is sad that only about 20 out of 36 states have complied.

TCAN also charged the minister to deliver to Nigerians as quickly as possible a transportation policy, the development of which has reached an advanced stage, in an attempt to transform the sector and position it for greater efficiency.

It assured of the readiness of the transportation media corps to partner with the minister and the ministry, in the task of positioning transportation for greater efficiency.

It urged the minister to reciprocate the good gesture by ensuring that he carries the media corps along in the discharge of his assignments as partners in progress in the overall interest of the Nigerian masses.