After 40 Years, Time to Complete Ajaokuta-Anyigba-Ankpa-Otukpo Rail Line is Now

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Ajaokuta – Otukpo Rail line is a project conceptualised over 4 decades ago with the purpose of transporting products from Ajaokuta steel company to other parts of the country. The project was conceptualised the same time with the Itape – Ajaokuta – Warri rail line, and with the same purpose, but unfortunately, while the Itape – Ajaokuta – Warri rail line was completed and put in use, the Ajaokuta – Okukpo line project never saw the light of the day, except the 3km rail bridge constructed across the River Niger from Ajaokuta to Itobe.

Ajaokuta – Otukpo Rail line cuts through Kogi Eastern senatorial district, an agrarian community and with a design of a train station in Okaba, a community with the largest coal production activities in the country into Otukpo in Benue state

The economic benefits of the completion of this abandoned project of over 40 years cannot be overemphasized. Some of these include:

  1. This project pride itself as the shortest and cheapest means of transportation of coal from Okaba to Ajaokuta steel company, Itape Iron Ore company and Obajana cement for their Electricity Generation.
  2. This means of transportation will reduce the pressure on the roads along that corridor,as it is presently been experienced.
  3. The transportation of food products such as cassava, yam, Cashew, palm oil etc from this agrarian communities to other part of country.
  4. Transportation of steel products to the North Eastern and South Eastern part of the country, including other North central states.
  5. Transportation of Ceramics products from the Ceramic companies in Ajaokuta to the North Eastern part of the country.
  6. Reduction in the average travel time from the North Eastern part of Nigeria to the South Western part of the country.
  7. Reduction in the average travel time from the North Western part of the country to the south East and South Southern part of Nigeria.
  8. Transportation of steel products from Ajaokuta to other parts of the country, especially the North East and the South East.
  9. Creation of employment to the ocean of unemployed youth in the country, thereby reducing youth restiveness, agitation and other forms of criminality.
  10. Opening of new towns along this corridor, thereby boosting the economic activity of those places.

I want to appeal to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu that In line with his revolution agenda in the Transportation, Agricultural, Steel and Energy sectors, and his dream to transform every sector and section of the country, award contract for the completion of this all important project in the rail transportation industry, as about thirty (30%) of the work, with the construction of the Rail bridge across River Niger in Itobe already completed.

– Comrade Opaluwa Eleojo Simeon, a Criminologist, writes from Abuja.

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