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Oshiomhole Pleads With FG On East-West Railway



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Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has appealed to the Federal Government to introduce the East-West railway line to grow the economy of the South-South region.

He made the plea even as the Minister of the Niger Delta Ministry, Elder Godsday Orubebe promised Nigerians that East-West road would be delivered by December 2014.

Speaking while receiving the Minister at the Government House yesterday, Oshiomhole said only a good and dependable transportation system can facilitate economic development of a country.

According to him, “the only appeal I want to make is on the issue of the East-West rail. This economy can’t be competitive and our region cannot attain the desired level of development without rail. The assumption that road can solve and service our economy efficiently is not grounded in any logic.  Around the world, even nations with a smaller land mass embrace rail system”

Oshiomhole noted “we are an oil-producing nation and we are told that it is not going to be there forever, we have seen that when we put everybody on the road no matter what we  spend building the East-West road, if it becomes the only road, obviously there will be the challenge of maintenance, congestion and even accidents.

“All of us who are in government should assist you to persuade the National Assembly to support the President to find the resources to invest in the rail.  I think rail is the ultimate. It is cheaper, it is more reliable and usually much more safer. Even in terms of maintenance, it might be easier to manage.  When we have that on and we have the road completed, you would have made a lot of progress. The region would not have become a heaven, but the foundation for sustainable development would have been set”, he added.

On the East-West road, Oshiomhole said “I believe the East-West road is a huge project. There are various sectors that are crying for every dollar that is available.  I am sure you will be quite happy if the project is completed”.

On his part, the Minister of Niger Delta, Elder Orubebe said the East-West road will be completed and delivered by December, 2014.

He disclosed that the road was earlier awarded in 2006 at the cost of N239 billion without detailed designs.

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