The Abuja-Kaduna rail line was the first standard gauge completed in Nigeria.

The Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri standard gauge rail lines would be the next when it starts commercial operation in June 2018.

Nigeria's Minister of Transportation. Rotimi Amachi made this known this while inspecting the ongoing rail project in Warri, Delta state.

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He said that the Federal Government had instructed that the project must be completed by the first quarter of 2018, which was included in the budget.

The minister said the project was first awarded in 1987 and abandoned for over 30 years which would have been the first standard gauge in Africa.

“There are two phases of the contracts; the first one was awarded in 1987. 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.

“We are constructing bridges too to reduce contact with human beings who would try to cross the track because this is a speed lane and once it starts, it is going to be 120 to 150 km per hour because it is a standard gauge.

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“If this contract was completed within the time it was awarded, Nigeria would have been the first country in Africa to have a standard gauge line.

“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, commercial activities will resume,” he said.