By Uche Nelson
President Umuahia Chamber Of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (UCCIMA), Chief Chidi Nkem Aruoma, has kicked Against the planned rail lines project to be constructed from Nigeria to Niger Republic.
It will be recalled that the Federal Government recently approval the sum of $1,959,744,723.71 for the construction of a rail line that will link Nigeria to Niger Republic.
The amount is a loan to be obtained by Nigeria from the Chinese government. However, the plan had not gone down well with most Nigerians as they believe that enough priority should have been given to other areas of the country like the Southeast and South-south whose rail lines have gone moribund.
Reacting to the matter, the President of UCCIMA, Chief Chidi Nkem-Aruoma, said it was ridiculous and insensitive for “our government to construct rail lines from Nigeria to another country while ours are left unattended to”.
He said he was not against building rail line in any parts of Nigeria, but was against linking up the rail lines to another country with borrowed money from China.
Aruoma reiterated that the way and manner rail lines are given priority in other zones of the country and abandoned in the southeast considering the facts that the people of the zone are predominantly traders and business people is baffling.
He called on the minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amechi to revive rail lines in the Southeast zone, adding that rail line from Port Harcourt will definitely pass through Aba, Mbawsi, Umuahia, Uzuakoli, Nkpa, and Ovim all in Abia and will not only help in conveying goods and humans beings, render services, increase trade and create employment.
The UCCIMA bosd also noted that cargo movement from port Harcourt through Abia Axis will be easier and cheaper as agricultural produce will move easily.
He added that it will, to a great extent, reduce the pressure, congestion and accidents on the roads, even as he called on House of Representative members, Senators and Southeastern governors to speak up and make positive demands on some issues.
“They should make their on this rail line known instead of hiding in their cocoon; there’s an urgent need for the actualisation of the rail road in the Southeast”, he enthused.