Tuesday, December 30, 2014 6:55 pm
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday in Abuja said the performance of President Goodluck Jonathan in the transport and aviation sector was unprecedented.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Olisa Metuh, in a statement, said the party and well-meaning Nigerians were happy with the on-going transformation in the sectors.
According to the statement, the transformation in the two sectors has supported greater economic productivity across the country.
“Under President Jonathan, rail services have returned, enhancing not only commerce but also national integration.
“Today, the Lagos-Ibadan-Osogbo-Ilorin-Minna-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano narrow gauge has been rehabilitated with improved fast coaches providing regular services.
“The Enugu-Port Harcourt-Enugu intercity train has been opened for operations, while container cargo freight services from Apapa port complex have commenced,’’ the statement said.
It said that already, rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt-Aba-Umuahia-Enugu-Markurdi-Lafia-Kuru-Bauchi-Gombe-Ashaka-Maiduguri and the branch line from Kafanchan to Kaduna was at completion stage and would be operational soon.
According to the statement, work on the Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge rail line has also reached advanced stage and it is expected to become operational in the first quarter of 2015.
This, the statement said was in addition to the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri standard gauge line which was projected to resume full operation by the middle of 2015.
It further said that other segments of the new standard gauge speed train network had been planned with contract already awarded for the Lagos–Ibadan segment.
It said a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of a new railway line that would run from Lagos to Calabar extending to the Obudu Cattle Ranch had been signed.
According to the statement, passengers carried by rail have increased from 1 million in 2012 to 4.2 million in 2013 and still growing with the opening of new lines in 2014.
Accordingly, the investment friendly environment created by the President Jonathan`s administration had resulted to participation of private individuals and companies in road mass transit.
This, the statement said, included those funded through SURE-P and other financing windows which had reduced the land transport challenges faced by Nigerians.
It said that the dredging of the River Escavos and the Niger from Warri to Baro in Niger and the inland city ports in Onitsha had also been completed.
It said this had created the much desired inland water channel for movement of personnel and goods.
The statement said this was in addition to the acceleration of the dredging work at the Lokoja axis and the opening of coastal transport services.
It added that in the last three years, over 6.7 million passengers and over 1.6 million tonnes of cargo had been moved through the channel.
“In the same vein, extensive port reforms by the administration have paved way for availability of 24 hours services with clearing time reduced from 39 days to seven days for trouble-free cargo.
“On aviation, it is incontrovertible that this sector, which in the past was denied desired attention, has been revamped and repositioned by Jonathan`s administration,’’ the statement said.
The Aviation Ministry and its parastatal agencies were restructured while obsolete infrastructure were either replaced or upgraded, it said.
“Under the Jonathan’s administration, all 22 federal-owned airports across the country were remodeled to ensure safety and improved passenger services.
“Five new Airport Terminal Buildings and air-field facilities have been constructed while existing ones are being reconstructed.
“These efforts have received global acknowledgement, including the attainment and retention of the FAA Category One Status,” it said.