Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi yesterday promised that the Muhammadu Buhari administration would revive the railway lines.
He spoke at the inauguration of the Port Harcourt-Aba Mass Transit Train Service at the Port Harcourt Station of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC).
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike was absent at the event. Sources said he deliberately avoided Amaechi, his predecessor.
But sources close to the governor said he went to Abuja for the Court of Appeal judgment, which affirmed the nullification of his election. They said Wike was duly represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Mrs. Stella Ebere-Wigwe. Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu was represented by his deputy, Ude Okochukwu.
Wike’s representative claimed that the Rivers governor was absent due to exigencies of duty.
Amaechi said the Nigeria Railway Authority Bill, the National Transport Commission Bill, Nigeria Port and Harbour Authority Bill, and the National Inland Waterways Authority Bill would be presented to the National Assembly.
The minister of Transportation also stated that the initiatives were a demonstration of the administration’s change agenda.
The colourful event was attended by Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Abubakar Sirika; Chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, Senator Gbenga Ashafa; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation; Alhaji Sabiyu Zakari, and NRC’s Managing Director Adeseyi Sijuwade.
Also present were retired Justice of the Supreme Court Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte; ex-Rivers commissioners and Wike’s former Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Opunabo Inko-Tariah, who recently resigned.