The Senate on Tuesday urged the Federal Ministry of Transportation to prioritise the rehabilitation and concession agreement for the Eastern railway corridor.

The Senate resolution followed the consideration of a motion on the “urgent need to resuscitate and reactivate the rehabilitation and concession of the Eastern Rail Line Project”.

The motion was sponsored by the Chief Whip of the Senate, who is also the representative of the Abia North Senatorial District, Orji Kalu, and co-sponsored by 102 other senators.

The upper chamber also mandated its Committee on Land Transport to interface with the relevant federal ministries and agencies to facilitate the commencement of the Eastern corridor.

It further mandated its Committee on Compliance to ensure that the resolutions taken by the lawmakers were complied with by the relevant MDAs.

It asked the panel to forward its report to the Senate in three weeks for further legislative action.

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Kalu said it was necessary to drive the executive arm of government to take the action in view of the rail corridor’s huge revenue potential to the national economy.

He lamented that the Eastern rail line had been denied similar attention given to Lagos-Kano (Western) rail line in spite of the fact that investigations revealed that the Eastern rail line remained the most lucrative route in Nigeria.

Kalu reckoned that the negligence had resulted in Nigerian Railway Corporation losing at least N10.4bn yearly since 2014, totalling N63.2bn in the past six years.

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