How Enugu State Government has been frustrating railway extension to South East-NRC

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) on Thursday accused the Enugu State Government of frustrating the Federal Government’s efforts to extension its standard gauge railway project to the South East by demolishing some of its facilities.

The Chairman, Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority, Dr. Josef Onoh, had claimed in a publication that certain property linked to the railway, especially in Emene, Enugu, were obstructing the rehabilitation of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport.

The agency proceeded to destroy some structures in the area, including the railway land at Ukwuorji, last week.

But the Railway District Manager (East), Enugu, Osidipe Olusoji, dismissed the claims, insisting that its facilities were not hindering work on airport.

He decried the action of the state government, lamenting that the structures were destroyed at a time the Federal Government had redoubled efforts to extend the standard gauge railway to the zone.

The NRC chief said: “Now that the attention of the Federal Government is focused on this, the ECTDA is still unable to see what is coming and is, therefore, trying to frustrate the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the railway land at Ukwuorji in Emene is not in any way obstructing the rehabilitation of the airport. It may also interest the general public to know that the Ukwuorji area is in no way close to the airport in such a way that it will obstruct the airport rehabilitation. The land is not in the direction of incoming or outgoing flights from Enugu airport.”

However, the state government said it only destroyed shanties in the area obstructing the railway project and airport rehabilitation, stressing that it was not interested in the land belonging to the NRC.

The state Commissioner for Information, Chidi Aroh, said: “We want a new standard gauge to be built just as we begged for the upgrade of the airport.”

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