December 5, 2021

NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA

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How I received “Bendel Gari” in Abuja by rail – former EFCC boss

Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri rail line

Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri rail line

After three decades delay by successive administrations, President Buhari inaugurated the 326-kilometre Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri rail line.

By Rotimi Ijikanmi

Former EFCC boss, Mrs Farida Waziri, on Sunday in Paris recounted how excited she was when “Bendel Gari’’ was sent to her in Abuja from Warri in Delta by rail.

Waziri, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said President Muhammadu Buhari deserved commendation for making the freight possible by ensuring that the Warri-Itakpe standard gauge line came alive.

She said it was “cheering and surprising’’ news to her that she could get her favourite “Bendel Gari’’ all the way from Warri in Delta in Abuja through the rail.

“One of my relations came to visit me from Warri and I said how did you come with Garri and all these stuffs?

“She said she spent N3,000 to take a train from Warri to Itakpe in Kogi and then came to Abuja.

“I didn’t even know that there was such a train service.

Waziri spoke to NAN at the Nigeria International Partnership Forum attended by President Muhammadu Buhari to spotlight Nigeria’s immense trade and investment opportunities.

No fewer than 12 ministers participated in the event also attended by business moguls from Nigeria and France.

Waziri said the President Buhari’s administration had done a lot on infrastructural development which needed to be showcased more, locally and internationally.

“From what they have said here today, I know the milestones the Buhari administration has recorded in terms of infrastructural development.

“A lot has been achieved and if they speak more, Nigerians will know more and members of the international community who love Nigeria and want to invest in Nigeria will be more assertive in coming to Nigeria.

“A lot of bad news about kidnapping, banditry and insurgency is what people hear, but the narrative must change,’’ Waziri stressed.

The former EFCC boss said she was happy to have attended the Paris event which had opened her eyes to many things, especially the achievements of President Buhari’s administration.

“This event has been very informative and educative. What the ministers here have said on the infrastructural development and the agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari are very impressive.

“I am glad I found time to come. I was invited, but I was in London to see my kids and I travelled by Eurotunnel not to miss it and I am glad I did because the event is very informative.

“I am a Nigerian living in Nigeria, but I now know more. I wish the ministers will be talking more about what they are doing in their respective ministries.

After more than three decades delay by successive administrations, President Buhari inaugurated the 326-kilometre Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri rail line on Sept. 29, 2020.

The Itakpe-Warri railway is a standard gauge railway that connects the port city of Warri in Delta to the inland town of Itakpe in Kogi.

There are 12 stations and stops on the Warri-Itakpe central line, including Itakpe Station, Eganyi (where the link to Abuja will be, via Baro Port), Ajaokuta, Itogbo, Agenebode and Uromi.

Others stops are at Igueben-Ekehen, Igbanke, Agbor Station, Abraka, Okpara and Ujevwu. (NAN)