The Minister of Transportation, Senator Said Ahmed Alkali, expressed disappointment with the contractor handling the Port Harcourt – Maiduguri rail line reconstruction. He criticized the poor-quality material used and doubted the contractor's ability to complete the project on time. The project is only 45% complete after 12 months instead of the expected three years.
He stated, “I’m here in Port Harcourt in continuation of my inspection visit of all the railway projects across the country.“This inspection is starting from Lagos, where we moved to Kano to inspect Mararadi and then to Daura to inspect the transportation university.“So we are in Port Harcourt to inspect the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri reconstruction and rehabilitation of the eastern narrow gauge.
According to the Minister of Transportation, Senator Said Ahmed Alkali, he is disappointed with the progress of the Port Harcourt – Maiduguri rail line reconstruction. He expressed frustration with the slow pace of the project and the use of outdated manual alignment for laying rail tracks. The funding for the project has also not been provided as expected. Alkali emphasized the need for the contractor to be more serious and efficient. The completion of the project is crucial as it will enhance regional trading by linking the seaports in Rivers State to Maiduguri.
Alkali mentioned that once the passenger train is operational, it will significantly reduce trading costs and help offset the impact of petrol subsidy withdrawal.