The Federal Government on Friday flagged off commercial freight services on the Warri-Itakpe rail line.

According to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, the launch of the services was done in partnership with the Nigeria Railway Corporation and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation “to move materials for the AKK gas pipeline project and other freights.”

Amaechi added that the services will “greatly boost our GDP & enhance the socio-economic development of communities along the route.

The Minister said patronage on the route is already up “by over 200% in the last few months and is becoming a preferred means of transportation for travellers between Abuja, Kogi, Edo and Delta States.”

The next phase of the line is expected to extend to the Federal Capital Territory.

President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the 326 km rail line for commercial operation in September 2020.

“It will link people across the cultural divides and expand the frontier of trade and commerce, which will lead to better standards of living for our citizens,” the President said during the commisisoning