Kaduna government commences construction of road linking train station to airport.

The Kaduna State Government has said it will complete a 5.1 kilometre road that links a train station to the Kaduna international airport before March 8.

March 8 is the day the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja will be closed for six weeks to enable major repairs on its only runway.

During the closure, flights to Abuja are expected to land at the Kaduna airport from where the passengers will be ferried by rail and road to Abuja.

Despite criticisms of the plan, the federal government has said there is no going back with both the federal and Kaduna governments saying adequate preparations have been made to ensure a safe and hitch-free six weeks.

Completing the new road that links the Abuja-Kaduna train station in Kaduna to the Kaduna airport will ensure smooth transportation of passengers to and fro the airport from the station.

The Kaduna State Commissioner of Works, Ibrahim Uthman, said the state government embarked on the train station- airport road project to reduce the long distance passengers from the airport would have encountered.

“This road will take the passengers directly to the train station in Rigasa, instead of a round journey that will have to go through Mando, Nnamdi Azikiwe Way, Bakin Ruwa and then into Rigasa.

“The project will be completed before the relocation of flights from Abuja to Kaduna,” he said.

Mahmidu Umma, a farmer, said apart from providing job opportunities for over 100 unemployed youth in the Rigasa community, “the new road will solve the problems of cattle rustlers who attack settlements along that part.”

Abiodun George, Managing Director of Embryo Nigerian Limited, one of the two contractors handling the road project, said they will work day and night to ensure completion of the project within one month.

The Kaduna State Commissioner of Works, Mr. Uthman, also said the state government plans to complete a bridge and the 16 kilometre township road project in Gonin Gora, Chikun Local Government Area of the state abandoned since 2012.

The road project was awarded at the cost of N640 million but had been abandoned by the contractor since 2012.

“It was re-awarded for completion at the cost of N480 million,” a source said.

Mr. Uthman, during a site inspection tour on Tuesday, said the state government has sued the former contractor to recover the undisclosed amount of money paid to him as mobilisation since 2012.

He said the project will be completed by the new contractor before the commencement of rainy season.

“This new contractor mobilised to site even without mobilisation money,” the commissioner said.

Liuinus Sidi, a community leader who spoke to our reporter, said three pupils were killed by flood while trying to cross the uncompleted bridge in 2014.

“We are grateful that work has resumed on the bridge after all these years,” he added.

Again, Osun offers free train ride for Christmas, New Year.

To lessen the financial burden of transportation during the yuletide, the Osun State Government has offered to provide free Christmas and New Year train services for its citizens? who would want to return home to celebrate with their relatives.


The Osun government is extending the welfare gesture to residents despite financial hardship faced by different governments of the federation.


According to government, the free train ride is in line with the Rauf Aregbesola administration’s tradition of facilitating convenient movement of its citizen in and out of the state during festive seasons.


A statement from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Co-operatives and Empowerment enjoined indigenes of Osun to maximise the opportunity of the free train ride during the festive period.


According to the statement, “The train would, by 11.00 a.m. on Saturday the 24th of December 2016, convey people from Lagos to Osogbo. The return journey to Lagos from Osogbo will be Tuesday the 27th of December by 11 a.m.


“The train will also resume the services of conveying people from Lagos to Osogbo for the New year celebration by 11 a.m. Saturday December 31st 2016 and by same 11 a.m. Monday 2nd of January 2017 return to Lagos from Osogbo,” the statement read.

Nigeria to deploy 150km/hour locomotive on Abuja-Kaduna rail

The Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC, says the corporation will soon deploy a 150 kilometre per hour locomotive on Abuja-Kaduna rail gauge to meet passengers’ demand.

Mr. Okhiria, who disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Wednesday in Abuja, said engineers were currently in China for the final factory acceptance test.

He said once the design specification was confirmed by the engineers, the corporation would start making arrangements for its shipment and subsequent deployment.

According to him, the second locomotive for the rail line is also expected to be on track in the next two weeks since the engineers have also gotten the parts.

He added that “very soon, we will get the 150km per hour locomotive being shipped, engineers have just gone for the final factory acceptance test.

“We received information that it has been done and for the second locomotive that is coming in the next two weeks, we will put them on track.

“We are proactive, some of my engineers are already in China and they are going to come back with the pack for the second locomotive next week,’’ he stated.

The NRC boss said that railway stations were always far from the heart of the cities to allow people to move closer to the station in order to help create and expand the city.

He noted that the measure was to avoid demolishing people’s houses and paying compensation, adding that the out of town station encouraged development of towns and cities.

According to him, it is advisable to locate train stations away from city centres, saying the old Kaduna station that is now in the city was originally outside the city.

“However, within the next two years, the station you called out of town would be a major centre of activities.

“It is always like that because we don’t want to demolish houses because we cannot pay money for compensation.”

Okhiria said Nigerians had accepted the railway system, especially the Abuja-Kaduna line, adding that there had been continuous increase in passengers traffic on daily basis.

He assured that more locomotives and coaches would be deployed to the rail line in the coming year for passenger service, noting that NRC was developing the freight angle.

A passenger, Halima Saidu, a businesswoman based in Kaduna, commended the corporation for effective service on the Abuja-Kaduna line.

Ms. Saidu, who said she was travelling on the train for the first time, described the train movement as smooth and fast.

She called on the Federal Government to develop more of the kind of Abuja-Kaduna rail line in every state for easy movement of people.

According to her, if more railways are provided, the pressure on the roads will reduce and the number of road accidents will also reduce.

Innocent Ajiji, the Deputy President, Nigeria Union of Railway Workers, who also rode on the train, said it was smooth to ride on light rail unlike the narrow gauge train.

According to Mr. Ajiji, it is faster and it moves smoothly because it doesn’t make a lot of noise like the narrow gauge train.

“If Federal Government can change the system into standard gauge, I think we will have a better rail system,’’ he said.

New Jersey Train Wreck Shocks Nation

A commuter train crashed into one of the busiest train stations in the New York area during the morning rush on Thursday, killing at least one person, injuring dozens of others and creating a scene of chaos and destruction, the authorities and witnesses said.

The crash occurred around 8:45 a.m., when a commuter train slammed into the Hoboken Terminal building, Jim Smith, a spokesman for New Jersey Transit, said. It came to a stop on a busy concourse near a waiting area as passengers inside the train scrambled to climb out of the windows.

“It’s just head-shaking,” Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said on CNN. “Obviously, this train was traveling at a fairly high rate of speed.

Michael Larson, a New Jersey Transit worker, was in the station when the train crashed. He said he crawled on his hands and knees to pull people out of the first train car. Videos and photographs show the front of the train stopped beyond the tracks inside the station amid a jumble of mangled metal and hanging wires.

“The first car was pretty well destroyed,” Mr. Larson said. “The whole roof was caved in. The seats were broken.”

Mr. Larson, whose pant leg was bloodied, said that “by looking at the damage” he suspected there had been fatalities.

When the train arrived at the station, it went “over the bumper block, through the depot” and came to rest at the wall right before the station’s waiting area, Mr. Larson told reporters during a segment that was broadcast on CNN.

“One of the worst days I’ve ever seen,” he said.

Rail service was suspended into and out of the station, including service provided by the PATH system, which runs between Manhattan and New Jersey. Local buses and ferries began accepting New Jersey train tickets as a result of the accident, but ferry service to New York City from Hoboken was shut down at midday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said.

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FG to train ex-agitators on agriculture

The Federal Government will train 11, 500 ex- Niger Delta agitators in agriculture as part of moves to diversify the economy, a presidential aide said on Monday.

The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Brig.-Gen. Paul Boroh (retd), disclosed this at the inauguration of some poultry farms in Rivers State, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The farms are located in Elele, Ikwerre local government area of the state.

“The Presidential Amnesty Programme has resorted to engaging ex-agitators in agriculture in line with the Federal Government Green Alternative Initiative which is designed to diversify and revamp the economy,’’ he said

Boroh said the training for the ex-agitators would commence soon and would be concluded before the end of the year.

Read More:

FG to train ex-agitators on agriculture

BREAKING: A train carrying 60 people has derailed in Spain, causing “deaths and injuries”

A train traveling from the Spanish city of Vigo to Oporto in Portugal has “derailed causing deaths and injuries,” according to officials.

A spokeswoman for the rail company RENFE told CNN that the train was carrying 60 passengers when it went off the tracks near O Porrino station in Pontevedra, Galicia.
She added that the the driver was Portuguese.
More to follow…

News Alert !! At Least 10 Killed In Italy Train Collision

At least 10 people were killed in a head-on collision of two trains Tuesday morning in southern Italy, a firefighter told CNN.

The crash happened at about 11:05 a.m. in the Puglia region, said Maria Rondenodnone, a volunteer firefighter.
Others were injured in the crash between the towns of Ruvo di Puglia and Corato, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.
An aerial picture from the scene, distributed by Italian firefighters, showed the smashed remains of train cars and a large area of scattered, twisted metal at the impact site.
A child was among those taken from the crash, and was sent to a hospital by helicopter, ANSA reported.

National police and carabinieri could not immediately give details about the extent of the crash.

News reports said rescue workers were pulling victims from the rubble, including a small child who was alive and taken to hospital by helicopter. Video images showed ambulances responding to the scene with other rescue workers.

The prime minister, Matteo Renzi, sent his condolences to the families of the victims. “We will not stop until we have clarified what happened,” he told reporters.

More details soon …

Abuja-Kaduna Train For Launch May– Amaechi

The minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said the Abuja-Kaduna rail project is 100 per cent completed and will be launched in May.

Mr. Amaechi announced this at Idu, Abuja, on Thursday, while inspecting the project along with the contractors, China Civil Engineering Construction Company.

According to him, before the launch by President Muhammadu Buhari, the rail would be test-run in March, adding that during that period, passengers will board for free.

“The essence of my tour is to enable us assess whether we are ready for commercial activities and I think we are. I will be travelling from Abuja to Kaduna tomorrow through the rail.

“In March, they should start the test-run of the rail services for free, then the proper commercial activity will start in May, where we expect the president to flag-off the use of coaches,” he said.

He said N150 billion would be used to execute the national rail project, with another N60 billion for the Lagos-Kano standard gauge and yet another N60 billion for the Lagos-Calabar project.


Finland To Train Nigerian Teachers

The Visiting Finland’s Deputy Minister of External Economic Relations to Nigeria, Mr Matti Anttonen, on Wednesday expressed his government’s readiness to train Nigerian teachers.


Anttonen told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the plan was part of his government’s effort at ensuring that Nigerian teachers were well-grounded in the teaching profession.


The deputy minister said that because it would not be possible to send all Nigerian teachers to Finland, a large number of them would be selected to visit Finland as trainers.


“We are looking at the possibility of bringing some teacher trainers from Nigeria to Finland. It is expected that those trained in Finland would come back and share their knowledge with tens of thousands of Nigerian teachers.


We know that Nigeria is a very huge country, and that every year about seven million children are being born and every year five million children start schooling.


This means that Nigeria needs additional tens of thousands of well-trained teachers to be able to give qualitative education to these children,’’ he said.


Anttonen, also Finland’s Under-Secretary of State, said that it would be more cost-efficient and result-oriented to plan toward sending teacher trainers from Nigeria to Finland.



According to him, the proposal is already being looked into by Finland’s government, private sector and universities.


The under-secretary of state said that his government and Finland’s private sector and universities would “carefully find the right partners’’ from both countries before embarking on the proposal.



He said that there was a lot for Nigerian teachers to gain from the planned exchange of teaching experience programme with them in Finland.




UK To Deploy Military Personnel To Train Nigerian Army

More than 35 personnel from the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment are set to be deployed to Nigeria by the British Government, to deliver infantry training to Nigerian military.

This is part of the British government’s assistance in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgents in the disturbed northern region.

The UK military training team will join over 100 personnel deployed to Nigeria in 2015 to train local forces, with several batches expected in the course of the year to get the number up to 300, as promised in December 2015 by the UK Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, in Nigeria.

Areas of concentration for the incoming battalion are specialized assistance in countering improvised explosive devices, medical training and advice and advanced training of the Nigerian Air Force in airfield defence and counter insurgency.

Up to 1,000 Nigerian military personnel are said to have benefited from training provided by the advance team in 2015 in preparation for counter-insurgency operations in north east Nigeria.

Credit: ChannelsTv

FG To Create 7 New Railway Corridors To Expand Train Services – Amaechi

FG to create 7 new railway corridors to expand train services
The Federal Government is to create seven more rail corridors of standard gauge railways in the country, the Minister of Transportation, Mr Chibuike Amaechi, has said.


Amaechi made the plan known in Port Harcourt at the inauguration of Port Harcourt – Aba Mass Transit Train Services.


He said the initiative was a public-private-partnership which sought to modernise and expand railway transportation across the country.


“This initiative is aimed at remodelling and redevelopment of our major railway stations within the country.


“Under the rail modernisation programme, government will open new railway lines to achieve an efficient rail network.


“The Ministry of Transportation has carried out feasibility studies to create seven additional rail corridors of standard gauge railways under the public-private-partnership initiative,” he said.


Amaechi said that government would soon sponsor five bills for passage into law by the National Assembly to enable effective private sector participation in the transport sector.


The minister said that the bills included the Nigerian Railway Authority Bill; National Transport Commission Bill, National Port and Harbour Authority Bill and the National Inland Waterways Authority Bill.


Earlier, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia said the Port Harcourt-Aba train service would boost economic activities and reduce pressure on federal roads in the area.


Represented by his deputy, Mr Ude Okochukwu, Ikpeazu called on the Federal Government to extend the train services to Ovim through Aba-Omoba-Mbawsi-Umuahia-Uzoakoli-Ovim axis in Abia.


He said the Abia Government was willing to partner the Federal Government to rehabilitate the rail tracks on the route and buy coaches that would ply the route.


Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers, represented by Mrs Ebere Wigwe, the Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Transport, said the project would ease traffic and reduce accidents on the roads.




Nigeria In Relation With Chinese Firm To Train 2,000 Young Nigerians On ICT

The federal government on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with leading Chinese technology firm, Huawei, to train 2000 young Nigerians on Information and Communication Technology, ICT.

The MOU provides 2,000 Information and Communication Technology, ICT trainee jobs to young Nigerians next year under the “Huawei’s Seeds for the Future programme.”

“ICT is one of the quickest ways people can get decent jobs, so we think this is absolutely important.

“In the change agenda, how to grow the economy is important, and we want to create ICT hubs and support existing ones. We thank Huawei for this initiative of advancing technology in Nigeria, apart from the job creation itself,” said Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Observing the current poor rating of Nigeria in the global rankings of business environments, the Mr. Osinbajo said that the president had already given the task of addressing the challenges of doing business in the country to the minister of Trade, Industry & Investment Minister.

The Vice President said the relationship between Nigeria and China was a strategic one, urging Chinese investors and business leaders to consider Nigeria for manufacturing plants.

He said the Chinese investors “should encourage not just the selling, but also the manufacturing of products in Nigeria.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

Japan’s “Bullet” Train Sets World Record, 603 Kph

It’s a bird — It’s a plane — It’s an insanely fast Japanese bullet train. A Japan Railway maglev train hit 603 kilometers per hour (374 miles per hour) on an experimental track in Yamanashi Tuesday, setting a decisive new world record.

A spokesperson said the train spent 10.8 seconds traveling above 600 kilometers per hour, during which it covered 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles). That’s nearly 20 football fields in the time it took you to read the last two sentences.

Takeo Ookanda, who runs an exhibition center next to the test track, said witnesses erupted with excitement and applause when the new record was set. “I was moved just like many other visitors here today,” he told CNN. “This maglev project… (increases) the hope that Japan can have a good growth again in the future.”

Read More: cnn

Boko Haram Trained with ISIS, Says Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan says fighters from insurgent group Boko Haram have traveled to the Middle East for training with Islamic State militants.

Jonathan declined to name the countries where the fighters were allegedly trained. But in an interview with VOA Wednesday, he said he’s long suspected Boko Haram of having alliances with international extremist groups.

“So we know the links are there. But even now, we may not know the degree of linkages as to how much funds are coming in from them, the kind of volume of weapons coming in from them, the nationalities coming from them,” Jonathan said. “But the training, because some of the Boko Haram members go to have their training in the ISIS camp and come back.”


U.S. Military Trains African Armies Ahead of Boko Haram Campaign

Under the glare of the Saharan sun, a U.S. special forces trainer corrects the aim of a Chadian soldier as he takes cover behind a Toyota pick-up and fires at a target with his AK47 — a drill that could soon save his life.

Chad is sending hundreds of troops to fight Boko Haram in neighboring Nigeria as part of a regional offensive against the Islamist group, which killed an estimated 10,000 people last year in a campaign to carve an Islamic emirate from the north of Africa’s largest oil producer.

At the end of the exercise, a U.S. trainer shows the 85 Chadians the paper target peppered with bullet holes – many of them outside the drawing of a gunman. “Not so great,” he says and orders them to do a round of push-ups — in which American, Italian and Belgian trainers all take part, laughing.

The annual ‘Flintlock’ counter-terrorism exercises are a decade-old U.S.-sponsored initiative to bolster African nations’ ability to fight militant groups operating in the vast ungoverned spaces of the Sahara with training.

“Even before the conflict with Boko Haram, we were preparing to face a group like them,” said the commander of the Chadian troops, Captain Zakaria Magada, whose Special Anti-Terrorist Group (SATG) is equipped and trained by the United States.

“Boko Haram is just a militia of civilians. We are an organized army. They cannot face up to us.”

Read More: Reuters