By Raphael Ekpang
Senator Gershom Bassey (PDP) representing Cross Rivers South Senatorial district at the national assembly has applauded President Muhammadu Buhari renewed interest in the commencement of Calabar-Lagos coastal line as well as Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri line.
President Buhari on Thursday while presenting the 2021 Federal Budget Proposals to the Joint Session of the National Assembly hinted that work will soon commence on the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Line and Calabar-Lagos Coastal Line, which according to the him will connect the Southern and Eastern States to the North, and the South-South as well as South-East to the North, and South-West, respectively.
Bassey who is the Senate Committee Chairman on FERMA said if work commences at the Port-Harcourt- Maiduguri line as well as the Calabar-Lagos coastal line as said by the President, it will help ease the pressure on the roads across the nation.
He noted that over 80% of goods and services in Nigeria are transported by roads that is why the roads are consistently on the poor stage because they cannot keep carrying these loads.
According to him any means that will take the heavy weight of the cargos and goods off the Nigeria roads is welcome, therefore he stated, President Buhari’s announcement that some of the rail ways will soon be completed while others will commence soon is highly commendable and welcome by the senate.
On the presentation of the 2021 budget appropriation on Thursday by the President, Bassey said he commended President Buhari for trying to comply with his constitutional role of presenting the budget before the national assembly.
Bassey stated that, while they (lawmakers) are going to be thorough in scrutinizing the budget, they will also speed the process in order to pass it before the end of the year.
“I want to thank the President, His Excellency for trying to comply with the timeline that all of us; the legislature and the executive set for ourselves and also trying to comply totally with his constitutional responsibility,” he said.
On the N64 billion allocated to the Niger Delta Development Commission for the continuation of the Niger Delta Amnesty programme, Bassey said that it was a good omen, stressing that the programme has been useful to the region as such maintaining it will enhance more peace in the region.