By Musa Abdullahi Krishi
The Senate has mandated its committees on land transport and local and foreign loans to invite Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi over the Port Harcourt-Enugu-Maiduguri rail line.
Amaechi, the Senate said, would explain what the government was planning for the eastern railway in the country having done much on the western part, comprising Lagos-Ibadan-Kano rail line.
Adopting a motion by Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, the Senate noted with delight the commitment of the Federal Government towards bringing back the rail transport in the country.
Ekweremadu said despite the efforts of the Federal Government, it appeared less emphasis was given to eastern part of the country in railway development.
He said when the National Assembly approved the money for the western axis from Lagos to Kano, there was an agreement that a similar proposal for the eastern axis would be presented. However, he said nothing has been done to date.
“We commend the federal government for the development of the railway system in this country, but it must go round,” he said.
Contributing, Sen Shehu Sani (PRP, Kaduna) said the last time they invited Amaechi, he gave them a firm pledge that the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line would be the next one after the Lagos-Kano.
Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe) said the eastern axis has not been abandoned, noting that he had raised the issue few days ago with the minister, whom he said explained that it was underway.