THE Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Chief Elias Mbam, has commended the Federal Government for approving the construction of Eastern railway corridor.
In a statement issued in Abakaliki on Thursday, Mbam stated that the approval of the project by President Muhammadu Buhari was a display of the regard he has for the South East.
He said that the initiative would boost commercial activities and enhance timely evacuation of goods, especially agricultural produce from the South East to other parts of the country.
Mbam thanked the president for approving the redirecting of the rail line through Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, noting that the development would drive commercial activities in the state.
He noted that Abakaliki is strategically placed on the corridor between the Northern region and the South-East and it serves as a gateway between the South-Eastern region and the Republic of Cameroon.
He said: “The transportation of goods especially agricultural products from the northern states of Taraba and Borno to the South-East is possible through the Ogoja-Abakaliki trunk A route.
“The new rail line passing through Abakaliki serves to bridge the gap between the South East and the northern part of the country in areas of agro-businesses, commerce and trade.”
Mbam pointed the agricultural endowments of Ebonyi noting that, “in fact the popular Abakaliki rice has the capacity, if well commercialised, to contribute greatly to improving food security in Nigeria.
”Ebonyi is also known for its solid mineral resources; lead, zinc, iron ore, granites among others, which are harnessed in high commercial quantity.”
The chairman of RMAFC, who is also a former Minister of State for Finance added that Ebonyi has the capacity to boost the Nigeria’s economy and contribute to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) if wider market was provided through transportation of its agricultural produce.
Mbam touted the wisdom in launching the Eastern line corridor, which adds to a number of Federal Government projects in the South-East.
He listed the second Niger Bridge, the reconstruction of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport,
the Enugu-Port Harcourt and Enugu-Onitsha expressways, and ecological projects in the states of the zone among the projects.
He said that, “there is no doubt, that these projects, especially the railway lines will endear Buhari to the people of our zone and make Nigeria a more robust economy.”