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Goodluck promises to link all of Nigeria's 36 states together via a railway network if elected


altPRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has promised to connect all of Nigeria's 36 states together through a nationwide railway network if re-elected in the March 28 presidential elections.

Originally constructed by the British, Nigeria's railway network began operating in 1898, when the first railroad was constructed by the colonial government. Since then, very little has been dine to upgrade the network and the country's trains still run on the tracks laid down by the British.

Although last year the government got the trains working again, they are still powered by locomotives that were discarded in Europe about 100 years ago. Train times are also very slow and there are frequent delays, overcrowding and cancellations, meaning that inter-city journeys that should take hours end up taking days.

Yesterday, President Jonathan pledged to address the situation during a visit to Daura in Katsina State when he paid a courtesy call on the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Farouk Umar. He said that that the railway lines, when operational would ease transportation of goods and persons to all nooks and crannies of the country.

According to President Jonathan, his administration had constructed and rehabilitated roads linking different state capitals. He told the emir that his administration had also so far established 12 federal universities out of which 10 were located in the northern part of the country.

He further pledged that if re-elected, he would provide more dividends of democracy to Nigerians. Responding, the emir thanked the president for the visit and commended him for his commitment to improving the living standard of Nigerians.

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