Eastern Railway and Nigeria’s development trajectory

By Val Obienyem

Just moments ago, I was delighted to watch and hear Senator Victor Umeh passionately advocate for the inclusion of the South-East in the new railway masterplan. This truly reflects his role as a representative of the people.

However, this issue prompts reflection on the trajectory of our development. During colonial rule, necessity, whether national or colonial, guided the development and placement of essential infrastructure such as railways along corridors of great need.

Today, one can assess Nigeria’s governance by examining the placement of new railway tracks. If infrastructure placement is not influenced by narrow ethnic biases, why are routes from Lagos to the East or from the East to Abuja not included in railway masterplans? One only needs to inquire with transport companies about the volume of people and goods transported from Kaduna to Abuja or even from Lagos to Abuja, vis-à-vis Lagos to Onitsha or Abuja to Enugu, to recognize the importance of the Eastern corridor.

It is imperative that we decide whether to rationally build our country or…

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