Ethiopia-Djibouti Electric Rail Image, Used By BMC As Warri-Itakpe Rail Success



The Oasis Reporters

December 2, 2018

Assumed Itakpe-Warri rail success of the government.


Where the Buhari Media Associates got the image from, an article that is two years old.

In a bid to search out and present infrastructural successes by the Buhari administration ahead of the February 2019 election, the Buhari Media Center operatives have ostensibly thrown in a photo image of an assumed Warri-Itakpe Rail line into the consciousness of Nigerians through the social media.

Internet searches have revealed that the photo image is none other than that of Africa’s First electric rail that connects Ethiopia with Djibouti in the horn of Africa that was published on October 5, 2016 and posted by Geraldine Boechat.

She wrote that “Ethiopia on Tuesday launched a 750-km railway line linking Addis Ababa and the Red Sea state of Djibouti.

The new line was built at a cost of $4 billion by China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) and China Civil Engineering Construction (CCECC).

It will cut the journey time to about eight hours, create new manufacturing industries, improve transport and further open up landlocked Ethiopia.

The electrified and environmentally friendly project will also replace a diesel-powered Addis Ababa-Djibouti line.

“It is a part of trans-African railway network so it will give an opportunity for connecting Ethiopia with other neighboring countries and it will minimize the cost of the transport and transport time and it is free from pollution, as it uses renewable energy,” Ethiopian Railways Corporation (ERC) communications manager, Dereje Tefera said.

Despite being one of the largest countries in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is landlocked with no ports of its own. Both countries benefit from economic integration, with Ethiopia gaining access to the sea and tiny Djibouti gaining access to Ethiopia’s emerging market of 95 million people.

The Horn of Africa nation is seeking to have 5,000 km of new lines across the country by 2020”.

Ethiopia- Djibouti Rail. First electric rail in Africa.

Making it look like the Warri-Itakpe rail line that was started by President Shehu Shagari whose regime was terminated by Major General Muhammadu Buhari on December 31st, 1983 sounded like a cheap shop from the media handlers.

The Warri-Itakpe rail line was actually designed to transport Iron Ore from Itakpe mines to the federal government owned Aladja Steel Manufacturing Company in Aladja, near Warri for smelting, before further processing into different forms of steel to power the Nigerian economy.
The whole Steel plan from Ajaokuta and Itakpe were almost 95-98 percent completed when every process was grounded to a halt by the military regime for a corruption probe, throwing away the baby with the bath water and Nigeria never got it right again with Steel. Billions of dollars simply went down the drain, ending the Nigerian Steel dream.

Even if the Warri-Itakpe rail link is completed, the original aim has been crushed because the Ajaokuta Steel Complex, Aladja Steel Complex, Katsina Steel Rolling Mill, etc have all but collapsed, sold to Indians at rock bottom prices with all their assets stripped and carted abroad, ending Nigeria’s Steel dreams.

To worsen the situation, new technologies like the scientific method of processing wood to be stronger and even lighter than Steel has been pioneered and perfected, “thanks to research coming out of the University of Maryland, College Park, where engineers have found a way to make wood more than 10 times stronger than titanium alloys”

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Beside the original purpose of the Warri-Itakpe rail link, it can also be used to power new economic projects like the transportation of fish and the encouragement of Kogi residents to interact more with Niger deltans through Warri.
Unless of course, the Federal government develops the Warri port to be at par with Apapa port, so that goods meant for the Middle belt region can be transported from the Warri sea port to Itakpe by rail, before being taken by road to various destinations. That would be of better value than the current hype by media handlers.

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Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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