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Nigeria to spend $15 billion on coastal rail system —Jonathan •Breaks ground for Maritime University, Dockyard in Delta

By News Express on 12/05/2014

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President Goodluck Jonathan reiterated the commitment of his administration towards developing comprehensive transport infrastructure in the country, explaining that this informed the decision to construct a coastal rail system.

The Nigerian leader said Saturday while performing the ground breaking ceremony for the first maritime university in Africa, the Nigeria Maritime University at Okorenkoko, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State: “We are working very hard not just coastal road but a coastal railway system. Roads alone don’t solve our problems. For you to provide mass transit to move people easily especially heavy materials and human beings you need railways. Until you get railways you cannot talk about effective mass transit system.

“Our roads fail so easily because of the load they carry and that is why we are emphasising on the coastal railway. I had that discussion with the Premier of China and they are totally committed.

“It is a project that is going to cost between 12 to 15 billion dollars that will link Lagos through the South West, South South, South East up to the North. If we achieve that it will really improve communication and improve on our GDP as a nation.”

Apart from flagging off activities at the maritime university’s temporary site at Kurutie, Jonathan also performed similar functions for the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (MIMASA)’s shipyard and dockyard projects at Okenrenkoko.

The President commended the a Ministry of Transport  and NIMASA for the initiative of the university, which he noted would help create and build capacity for the maritime sector and further help in the economic transformation of the country.

Nigeria, he observed once had a vibrant maritime sector but lamented that it latter experienced stagnation that even today some Nigeria bound goods were being diverted to Benin Republic?

According to him, his administration has taken concrete steps towards revamping the sector, adding that the maritime university would go a long way in addressing the problem of dearth of skilled manpower that had been the bane of the industry.

Speaking at the occasion, Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, urged the Niger Delta and the rest of the country to continue to give their support to the president in 2015 and beyond.

“I must say that we must all together give the maximum support to the president. Yes, Mr. President is from the Niger Delta and we thank the other parts of Nigeria for supporting him to become the President in 2011.

“We thank them for their support so far, we plead with them that they should continue to support him now and beyond 2015. I did say that we of the Niger Delta have no reason to oppose Mr. President, some people challenged me. I still stand on that statement. You do not know what you have until you don’t have it.

“We have a president that has been brought to power by every part of Nigeria, for us from the Niger Delta we must continue to be in the forefront to be in the support. We must continue to extend our hands of fellowship to other parts of Nigeria to continue to support him not just in 2015 but beyond 2015.”

Dr. Uduaghan commended the president for the landmark projects of a maritime university, dock and shipyard among others in Warri South West Local Government.

“We want to thank you Mr. President because today you are starting a movement in Warri South West that will make it the most educated, the most industrialised and the most empowered local government in Nigeria,” he said

•Photo shows Governor Uduaghan and President Jonathan walking towards the venue of the groundbreaking ceremony of the Nigeria Maritime University . . . Saturday at Okorenkoko, Warri South.

Source News Express

Posted 12/05/2014 3:17:56 PM


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