….Hails rail revolution
The recent appointment of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi as an Advisory Board Member of the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund (UNRSTF), as well as Sole Representative of Nigeria and Africa in the Fund has been described as a well-deserved recognition of his feats as Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation.
All Progressives Congress (APC) Chieftain, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, stated this while reacting to Amaechi’s appointment, which took place during the inaugural meeting of the UNRSTF Advisory Board at the UN Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, on 9th August, 2018.
“This, no doubt, is recognition of Amaechi’s revolutionary strides as Nigeria’s Transportation Minister in the past three years and an acknowledgement of his humanitarian services across borders,” Chief Eze, a well-known ally of Amaechi, said in a statement issued on Thursday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
He noted that, as an Advisory Board Member of UNRSTF, which was established in April 2018 to address the worldwide accident crisis resulting in 1.3 million lives lost and an additional 50 million injured on the road each year, “Amaechi will play an important role in reducing the number of accidents and casualties; and making a real impact on global road safety.”
Eze described Amaechi’s impact in rail-line operations in Nigeria as revolutionary. “Nigeria,” he said, “has never had it this good since her independence in 1960 as areas hitherto without any rail-line are now being connected due to the visionary leadership of the Transportation Ministry by Rt. Hon. Amaechi, with the active support of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
Eze, former National Spokesman of the defunct New PDP (nPDP) and foundation member of APC, highlighted the following milestone achievements in the rail sector by the Minister of Transportation under Amaechi’s watch:
1. Delivered the Abuja Kaduna rail-line, through which hundreds of passengers are now conveyed on a daily basis; started with one locomotive but now expanded to three locomotives.
2. Commenced work on the Lagos – Ibadan rail-line that will go a long way to reduce the high rate of deaths and accidents associated with the Lagos – Ibadan high way.
“In addition to these milestone achievements, serious work is to commence before the end of 2018 on the Port Harcourt – Maiduguri rail-line and Lagos – Calabar rail-line. All things being equal and with funds available, Amaechi intends to link all of the country’s state capitals by rail-line,” Eze noted.
In conclusion, the Media mogul noted with happiness that Nigeria is set to sign a deal worth billions of USD for railway infrastructure development. This deal, to be signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on behalf of Nigeria, with the Chinese Premier will include the Lagos-Ibadan, Lagos-Calabar rail lines. In the Lagos-Calabar rail line, every state in the South South is captured. So, when completed, every state in Nigeria’s coastal Niger Delta region would have been linked to Nigeria’s railway system. Nigeria’s Honourable Minister for Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who is the Chief-Negotiator for Nigeria, is expected to leave Nigeria this week ahead of a presidential delegation. The project when commenced, will provide thousands of jobs for Nigerians, and when completed will create additional jobs for qualified Nigerians.
He congratulated Amaechi whom he christen Mr. Railway on his exploits, including the UNRSTF appointment, but advised him to gird his loins “as the work ahead remains greater than what has been achieved.”
“I wonder if all these are not acts of revolution then what exactly does revolution means.”