The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, on Monday said the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri rail line would be ready for commercial activities by June next year.
The Minister made the disclosure when he inspected some of the rail project in Delta State, describing the rail line as central and economic belt that would run through Kogi, Edo, and Delta states.
The project which is in phases was awarded in 1987 and 1994 to Julius Berger but the firm opted out of the project because it didn’t have the equipment to complete the rail lines.
To complete the over 30 years old project, the Federal Government said it would be done by a Chinese Construction Company (CCECC).
The Federal Government also said it plans to link Itakpe rail line to Abuja for frieght and passengers activities.
He said: “We have a directive from the Federal Government that we must complete the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri rail line and it was put in this year’s budget.
“By the end of December last year, we had disbursed some money to the contractors- Julius Berger and others to commence work, so we have come to see how far.
“If this contract was completed between the time it was awarded, Nigeria would have been the first country in Africa to have a standard gauge.
“This contract depends on who you are talking to, some would say 30 years while other would say 34 years but whatever year it is, we need to get this place functioning and the directive of the Federal Government is we should start and our target is that by June next year, commercial activities would resume.