Excitement over FG’s plan to begin test-run of Itakpe-Warri railway line


*We have long awaited the resumption of the rail transportation as a host to the terminal station because it attract development to Owa-Oyibu”, Obiagwe,CDC Chairman.

*Excitement in the air for host of Itakpe-Warri-Agenegbode-Aladja-Owa-Oyibu rail line.

Okafor Ofiebor

There is excitement among communities located along Itakpe-Warri railway line with information that the Federal Ministry of Transportation, under the directives of President Muhammadu Buhari is to start the test-run of the rail services on the rail line which has been moribund for about three decades.

While giving indication of the plan to begin a test run of the train services, Lauretta Onochie, the Special Adviser President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Media in a Facebook post on Wednesday said “In spite of massive short fall in the income of the Federal government and the extra financial commitments due to the unforseen COVID-19 pandemic, developmental projects across the nation, are going on as planned”.

“In a short while, we should be able to hop on the train at ‘Abuja, and arrive in comfort at Agbor or Warri in Delta State, via Uromi, Agenebode, Auchi, Itakpe Okene, Ajaokuta, etc.

“Later, when the Coastal line, which connects 10 states with 22 Stations is completed, same journey would be possible by train from Lagos to Calabar passing through Ogun, Ondo, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Abia, and Akwa Ibom.God bless Nigeria”.

In an exclusive telephone interview with our correspondent on the news about the resumption of the test-run of the railway line,  Hon. Hubert Obiagwe, Chairman of Owa-Oyibu Community Development Committee, CDC, which is also the headquarters of Ika North East local Government area of Delta State, and host to one of the biggest Railway terminal station said resumption of rail transportation will be a welcome development.

“We have been expecting the resumption of the rail transportation because it will enhance the socio-economic development of Owa-Oyibu Community. We have been hearing about the resumption. but we are not sure when. If it starts eventually we will be happier for it because as host to one of it biggest Terminal Stations, it will attract commercial activities in our Community.”

Obiagwe said that Owa-Oyibu Community has made a lot of sacrifices  for the establishment of the rail Terminus.

“Initially,we were told it will help in conveying iron ore to Delta Steel Company, Aladja and Ajeokuta. What were are not sure is if the railway line will be purely Passenger rail or Cargo rail to convey raw material for the Steel plants. For whatever purpose, we welcome it’s resumption,”Obiagwe said.

on. Hubert Obiagwe, Chairman, Owa-Oyibu,Community Development Committee,Delta State.

However, it will be recalled that the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi had earlier given September this year as the official commencements date for the test-run of the rail  before its  full commercial transportation.

The rail line, which was started in 1987, was built to move iron ore from mines around Itakpe in Kogi to the steelworks at Ajaokuta but was abandoned for many years before construction resumed during Buhari’s first term in office. Jan 22, 2020.

Itakpe is a town in Kogi State, Nigeria. The Itakpe Hills in and around the town of Itakpe contain very pure deposits of iron ore.

The National Iron Ore Mining Company is located here. .