President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria on Tuesday launched a new commercial train service in northern Nigeria.
The train service which commutes from Abuja, the country’s capital to Kaduna, a distance of 186 kilometres (53.4 miles) was built by China Civil Engineering Construction Company.
“The Abuja-Kaduna train service will provide the much needed alternative transport link between the Federal Capital Territory and Kaduna state, a corridor which has a huge potential for industries, agricultural activities and a growing labour force,” the president said at the commemoration of the train in Nigeria.
At the end of the official launch of the Abuja-Kaduna train service, President Buhari had a 20-minute ride on the train. After which it was described as a “standard gauge railway train service that will be safe, fast and reliable”.
The Abuja-Kaduna train service is not Nigeria’s first railway service. In the 60s, Nigeria had a functioning railway service. President Buhari reminisced on this period as well, lamenting the fall of the railway system in Nigeria, which in those days aided the transportation of heavy goods and agricultural products around Nigeria.
“It is our vision and hope that those good old days will soon be back with us and indeed in a more prosperous way with the restoration of rail transport system which today’s occasion symbolizes,” he said.
The President added that the railway lines will be refurbished and new standard gauge rail lines will be built across Nigeria, including the Lagos-Calabar and Kano-Lagos lines.
He also congratulated the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and his team for completing the Abuja-Kaduna train service.