and then there’s all these hullaballoo and rumours about a proposed new railway line to be built from Nigeria to somewhere in Niger Republic.

and frankly i am not able to see what the fuss and hue and cry is all about.

after-all, as far back as 1975, 1976, 1977 i.e 45 years ago, 44 years ago, 43 years ago ►►►
( 2020 – 1975 = 45, 2020 – 1976 = 44 years, 2020 – 1977 = 43 years )
►►►engineers of the Nigerian Railways had, according to rumours, been advocating and clamouring for the building of a trans-africa-continent railway line i.e an inter-africa-continent railway line that would connect all the countries in Africa below and above the Africa Sahara Desert i.e connect all the countries in Negroland Africa / Negro Africa and Arab Africa.

and delegates from the Nigerian Railway Corporation to meetings of the African Union of Railwaymen always spoke in favour of the proposal for the building of a trans-africa-continent railway line i.e an inter-africa-continent railway line and always canvassed support for turning the idea into a physical actuality and reality.

…. as far back as 45 years ago ….

the idea was basically that it should be possible, for example, to travel by rail
● from Enugu in Nigeria to Accra in Ghana or Yaounde in Cameroun or any other country in Western Africa

● from Port Harcourt in Nigeria to Dar-Es-Salam in Tanzania or any other country in Eastern Africa

● from Calabar??? In Nigeria to The Congo or anywhere else in Central Africa

● from Aba??? In Nigeria to Swaziland or any other country in Southern Africa

● from Eket??? In Nigeria to Tunisia or Morrocco or any other country in Arab North Africa

so what is all the fuss … 45 years later ??? … about a proposed line to link Nigeria and Niger ???

by now Nigeria should have been well linked by rail to The Gambia, Senegal, Cote D’ivoire, Togo, Benin Republic, Ghana, Cameroun, Sierra Leone, etc  
and
to every country in Western Africa

if
the Federal? Ministry? of Transport? and/or the various Federal Ministers of Transport from 45 years ago till date 2020 had heeded calls coming from the Nigerian Railway Enginners for

a trans-africa-continent railway line

… and more easy to achieve in the ECOWAS sub-region …

a trans-western-africa railway line.

if the argument is that

there are some state capitals in Nigeria that are not linked to the existing intra-Nigeria railway line network and so Nigeria should make effort to enhance business, commerce and the movement of people and goods within Nigeria by linking every one of the 36 state capitals in Nigeria to the existing rail network then that argument has merit.

this can be done in pari-pasu i.e in tandem i.e in consonance with the building of a rail line to Maradi? In Niger Republic or to Harare in Zimbabwe or to anywhere else in Africa for that matter.

after-all, there is an ancient wisdom that says that charity begins at home.

if the argument is that

there are many key cities in Nigeria that are not linked to the existing intra-Nigeria railway line network and so Nigeria should make effort to enhance business, commerce and the movement of people and goods within Nigeria by linking at least every one key city outside the state capital in/of each of the 36 state capitals in Nigeria to the existing rail network then that argument has merit.

this also can be done in pari-pasu i.e in tandem i.e in consonance with the building of a rail line to Maradi? in Niger Republic or to Harare in Zimbabwe or to anywhere else in Africa for that matter.

since, after-all, as we have recalled above, there is an ancient wisdom that says that charity begins at home.

however, the decision .. if there is any such decision .. to build a railway line to link Nigeria and Niger Republic is an absolutely belated decision coming 45 years after the idea of building of a trans-africa-continent railway line i.e an inter-africa-continent railway line was canvassed by Nigerian Railway engineers in 1975? and thereabouts

and at this absolute laggardly rate, in the next 80 years remaining of this century,
( 2020 + 80 years = 2100 )
Nigeria in it’s typical? “squandering of riches”? manner? may not with all it’s vast earnings from oil and gas, etc spear-head and actualize the building of a trans-africa-continent railway line i.e an inter-africa-continent railway line to connect ALL AFRICA by RAIL

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By sam

Samuel Ojekwe is essentially just your basic everyday fellow that you see in your neighbourhood while you go about doing your stuff and who, like you, wishes and hopes that the world becomes a better place for all of us.

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