President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday ordered the Ministry of Transport to keep to the agreements reached with firms building seaports and modern standard gauge railway lines.
According to a report in The Nationa, the president gave this order while being briefed on the activities of the ministry by its top officials, led by the Permanent Secretary, Mohammed Sambo Bashar.
Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, the Permanent Secretary said the President was impressed with the pace of work on major projects in the sector.
According to him, laying of tracks on the Abuja-Kaduna rail project had been completed while locomotives, which had been paid for were still being awaited as operations would commence on the route by December.
He said the rail lines from Lagos to Kano, Kano to Port Harcourt and Port Harcourt to Gombe were in operation.
He said: “Basically, what we did is to present to the President the various programmes and projects and the reform efforts we have been undertaking in the last couple of years, the stages of the various projects, especially the railway rehabilitation programme and development in our seaports. And also some of the regulatory issues that we sought are due for review and attention.
“The President quite appreciated a lot of what has been achieved so far and he has indicated his willingness to continue with a lot of projects and programmes already on ground. And he has expressed his support, especially when we start talking about the capacity building for individual operators in the country. He is really appreciative of the entrepreneur initiatives of Nigerians and indication that government will continue to give its full support.
“There are issues that he thinks we should pay a lot of attention, especially in the execution of agreements that we have entered into. He emphasized on the need to adhere strictly to the terms of agreements and we are going to abide by that.
“Basically, those agreements are relating to the projects we entered into with the construction of railway, standard gauge lines and rehabilitation programmes.”
Asked to give updates on ongoing projects, he said: “Well, I think the rehabilitation programme of the old gauge lines, as you are aware, we have completed the Lagos-Kano and it is operational. Twice a week, people move from Lagos to Kano and back to Lagos.
“We have also recently commenced operation from Kano to Port Harcourt, and Port Harcourt to Gombe and from Gombe upwards we have some challenges.
“With regards to Abuja-Kaduna, track has been completely laid and we are now waiting for locomotives to arrive, which have been ordered and paid for. Our belief is that we will meet the deadline of December, 2015.”