Demolition of facilities in Enugu can frustrate railway extension to South East – NRC

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) says the demolition of its facilities by Enugu State government can frustrate on-going efforts to extend standard gauge rail lines to the South East zone.
The Railway District Manager (RDM) (East), Mr Osidipe Olusoji disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Enugu.
Recall that the Enugu State Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA) had demolished some structures at Emene which it claimed hindered the rehabilitation of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
This also affected structures at Ukwuorji Railway land.
Olusoji said that the claim by the state government agency that railway facilities obstructed the rehabilitation of the airport was unfounded.
He said that it was sad that such setback was coming at a time the agitation of the people of the region for the standard gauge rail lines to be extended to their zone was receiving attention.
According to him, now that the attention of the Federal Government is focused on this, the ECTDA is still unable to see what is coming and is, therefore, trying to frustrate the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said that the railway land at Ukwuorji, Emene, Enugu did not obstruct the airport rehabilitation.
“It may also interest the general public to know that the Ukwuorji area is in no way close to the airport facility in such a way that it will obstruct the rehabilitation work going on at the airport.
“The land is not in the direction of incoming or outgoing flights from the airport.
“We begin to wonder why the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria does not have any grouse with the said railway property but the ECTDA is the one deciding what is obstructing airport rehabilitation,” he said.
Olusoji said that the standard gauge railway and intermodal complementarity was of essence.
“Since we already have our existing main line just behind the airport, the Ukwuorji Railway land can easily be suited for a mega airport railway station.
“This will in no small measures boost the economy of the people of this zone in particular and the country in general.
“The corporation calls on Nigerians, especially the people from this zone to prevail on the ECTDA not to deny the people from this zone the long awaited upgrade of railway facilities in the region,” he said.
Olusoji also called on the state governor to intervene to avoid unnecessary faceoff with the ECTDA and to maintain the cordial relationship between the NRC and the state government.
The RDM said that the benefits derivable from the expansion of railways in the state would be enjoyed by the indigenes and residents of the state in particular, and all Nigerians in general.
Olusoji said that with the ongoing transformation of railways across the country, arrangements were on for the commencement of standard gauge rail line from Port-Harcourt, through Aba, Umuahia, Enugu and up to Maiduguri.
“It is notable that for modern railway development all over the world, airports are now being linked and serviced by rail. This is what we have in Abuja where the Nnamdi Azikiwa International Airport is also linked by rail.
“This is the new transformational drive of President Buhari’s administration being driven by the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amechi.
“We are not saying that different levels of government cannot make use of land for whatever developmental purposes but due process should be followed,” Olusoji said.
When contacted, the Enugu State Commissioner for Information, Mr Chidi Aroh, said that the state government was only removing shanties that interfered with the use of the rail line and airport.
Aroh said that the state government was not interested in the railway land.
“We are not interested in the railway land. We want a new standard gauge to be built just as we begged for the upgrade of the airport,”Aroh said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the structures demolished in Emene by the state government included two church buildings, school buildings and lockup shops belonging to the Methodist Church of Nigeria. (NAN)

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

This News Site uses cookies to improve reading experience. We assume this is OK but if not, please do opt-out. Accept Read More