The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the performance of President Goodluck Jonathan in the Transport and Aviation sectors as unprecedented.
PDP National Publicity Secretary Olisa Metuh in a statement on Tuesday said the party and, indeed, all well-meaning Nigerians are happy with the on-going transformation in these key sectors that support greater economic productivity in the country.
“Under President Jonathan, rail services have returned, boosting not only commerce but also national integration. Today, the Lagos-Ibadan- Osogbo-Ilorin-Minna-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano narrow gauge has been rehabilitated with improved fast coaches providing regular services. The Enugu-Port Harcourt-Enugu intercity train has been opened for operations while container cargo freight services from Apapa port complex have commenced.
“Already, rehabilitation works on the Port Harcourt-Aba-Umuahia-Enugu-Markurdi-Lafia-Kuru-Bauchi-Gombe-Ashaka-Maiduguri, as well as the branch line from Kafanchan to Kaduna are at completion stages and will be operational soon.
“In the same vein, work on the Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge rail line has reached advanced stage and is expected to become operational in the first quarter of 2015. This is in addition to the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri standard gauge line, which is projected to resume full operation by the middle of 2015.
“Other segments of the new standard gauge speed train network are planned, with contract already awarded for the Lagos–Ibadan segment. Already, a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of a new railway line that will run from Lagos to Calabar, extending to the Obudu Cattle Ranch has been signed.
“Passengers carried by rail has increased from 1 million in 2012 to 4.2 million in 2013 and still growing with the opening of new lines in 2014.
“On land transportation, the investment friendly environment created by the Jonathan administration has resulted in increased participation of private individuals and companies in road mass transit, including those funded through SURE-P and other financing windows, thereby reducing the land transport challenges faced by Nigerians”, the statement said.
Giving an overview of the achievements in the water transport sector, the PDP noted that “the dredging of the River Escavos and the Niger from Warri to Baro in Niger State and the inland city ports in Onitsha have since been completed to create the much desired inland water channel for movement of personnel and goods.
“This is in addition to the acceleration of the dredging work at the Lokoja axis and the opening of coastal transport services. In the last three years, over 6.7 million passengers and over 1.6 million tonnes of cargo have been moved through this channel.
“In the same vein, extensive port reforms by the administration have paved the way for availability of twenty-four hour services with clearing time reduced from 39 days to 7 days for trouble-free cargo.
“On Aviation, it is incontrovertible that this sector, which in the past was denied desired attention has been revamped and repositioned by President Jonathan.
“In line with the President’s Transformation Agenda, the Aviation ministry and its parastatals were immediately restructured while obsolete infrastructure were either replaced or upgraded in all the major airports across the country in line with international best practices.
“Under the Jonathan administration, all 22 federally-owned airports across the country were remodeled to ensure safety and improved passenger services. Five new Airport Terminal Buildings and air-field facilities have been constructed while existing ones are being reconstructed. These efforts have received global acknowledgement including the attainment and retention of the FAA Category One Status.”
Noting that President Jonathan has been championing a silent revolution in all sectors of the Nigerian economy, the PDP urged the citizens not to allow a relapse to the past by ensuring that the Jonathan administration is supported beyond 2015. It said such is the only way to guarantee that the successes so far recorded are sustained and consolidated.