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tolu ogunlesi @toluogunlesi
, 22 tweets, 19 min read Read on Twitter
Live from Itakpe in Kogi State. This is one of the construction workers on #ItakpeWarriRail Line. “I praise the [Buhari Administration]. Before now we didn’t know there was a rail line in Kogi State. It’s Buhari that’s made it possible for us to see this. Make God bless am.”
Usman is a mechanical technician. He used to be a driver, then switched to technical work (which he says he learned from childhood, tinkering with cars.) He worked on the Obajana cement plant in 2015/16, and has now worked on #ItakpeWarriRail for 8 months.
Paul is from Kogi State. He is a Payloader operator, has been on the #ItakpeWarriRail project for about nine months. He’s looking forward to completing this phase of the project and starting work on the #ItakpeAbujaRail phase. #TheYearofInfrastructure
When this #ItakpeWarriRail is completed, you will be able to travel from Kogi State to Delta State by Rail, passing through Ajaokuta, Uromi, Agbor, and Abraka. In the next phase, the line will extend from Itakpe to Abuja. #TheYearofInfrastructure #RailUPng
Today we’re going to take a ride on the Train, from Itakpe, all the way to Warri. I’ll bring updates. #ItakpeWarriRail #RailUPng
Mohammed is from Ajaokuta in Kogi State. He’s a foreman on the #ItakpeWarriRail project. He’s also an inventor. Showed me videos of stuff he’s built. A drone, and a miniature payloader.
We’re boarding the Train. The next stop will be Ajaokuta Station. Final destination: Warri.

Please mind the gap between the train and the platform. (Or, as we’d say in Lagos: “If you like don’t mind the gap between the train and the platform.”) #ItakpeWarriRail #EnterWithChange
If someone had told me I’d travel eight hours through the heart of Nigeria, without any Internet on any mobile networks, I’d say izzalie. Phew. But it’s been a fascinating ride.

We’ve traveled by Train through:

Now in Delta
Construction Workers. iPhone portraits from #ItakpeWarriRail Inspection Tour. #RailUPng (I’ve been sleeping on the iPhone Portrait Mode)
More (iPhone) photos from #ItakpeWarriRail Inspection Tour.

It’s a ~320km Rail Line that will form the Central Line of Nigeria’s National Rail Network. Currently runs from Itakpe in Kogi State to Warri in Delta State. There are plans to link to Lokoja, and then Abuja.
Testimony Time.

This is a youth leader in one of the communities where a Passenger Station is being constructed on the #ItakpeWarriRail Line. #RailUPng

PS. He has his views on 2019...
When this #ItakpeWarriRail Line was started by President Babangida circa 1987, it was planned as a freight-only Rail, serving the Iron Ore / Steel belt between Aladja and Ajaokuta.

It is now being reconfigured as a PASSENGER + Freight Rail, to maximize usefulness. #RailUPng
Dear @MTNNG @AirtelNigeria @9mobileng @GloWorld @ntelng

Time to start planning base stations for the #ItakpeWarriRail Route. It’s currently a service ‘desert’. 12 Stations in all, in Kogi, Edo, Delta.

Let’s start #TelcoWars, be the first to launch. You won’t regret it!
Traveling these 300 or so kilometers by Train across the center of Nigeria feels like touring an estate through the backyards of its houses. Very different feel from the ‘main road’ view.

Soon, hopefully, it’ll be an experience everyone is familiar with!
Minister of Transport @ChibuikeAmaechi, on the #ItakpeWarriRail Inspection Tour, today. (still ongoing, we’re still on the Train, now approaching Warri)
Warri, finally! The young people of Warri have never seen a Train pull up in their city before. #ItakpeWarriRail #TheYearofInfrastructure
My Warri brothers and sisters came on board to have a feel of (and photos on) the #ItakpeWarriRail Train 🚊
If you watch only one video from today: THIS. Oghenerume is from the Warri community where the final Train Station is. Tells me his late father was involved in the #ItakpeWarriRail project,and that his dream before he died was for it to be completed. “Thank you President Buhari!”
More of my Photos from today’s #ItakpeWarriRail Inspection Tour.

(All 📷: iPhone Portrait Mode)
Dignity of labour. #ItakpeWarriRail
Many of these men told me they’ve been employed for about 8-9 months.
This is one of the 12 Stops on the #ItakpeWarriRail Line. Earthworks and Construction of Passenger Stations in progress.

The biggest Station on the route will be in Agbor. Agbor is also home to a large Railway Village where the ‘control center’ of the line is located.
Brief interview with the Minister of Transport, on board the #ItakpeWarriRail Train. It’s been more than 30 years in the making; FG is planning to extend it to Lokoja asap, etc. #RailUPng #TheYearofInfrastructure
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