$40 billion required to complete 2018 rail, sea port projects – Amaechi
The Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi has said about $40 billion will be required to complete rail and sea port projects set for execution in 2018.
President Muhammadu Buhari also restated his commitment to link all commercial and production centres in the country via rail to develop the economy and promote national integration.
The Minister, who disclosed this at the Commissioning of Additional Locomotives and Coaches at the Rigasa Station, Kaduna State restated Federal Government commitment to implementing the project.
But Amaechi noted that sourcing for required funds have been a major challenge as talks are ongoing with likely funders to ensure successful project implementation.
The Minister assured at the commissioning of plans to complete the Lagos – Ibadan rail line this year.
Describing the project as such that has translated promises to reality, he noted that the two new standard gauge and 20 new executive passenger coaches will boost the aim of achieving an efficient rail system in the country.
Amaechi said: “We have huge challenges we have to face but one assurance we will give Nigerians is that we will do everything possible to ensure we complete Lagos-Ibadan this year.
“We are negotiating with contractors and funders who will fund the project.
“If we are able to conclude the arrangements, taking into consideration Nigeria’s law, then, we will start both this year. That include Port Harcourt to Maiduguri, Kano to Jibia, Abuja to Baru, the sea port in Bonny, sea port in Warri and so many other projects.
“That’s why I said we will need between $36 and $40 billion. Only God knows where we are going to get it from.”
The Minister lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment to developing the sector and further pleaded for supports from the Finance Ministry.
Earlier, the President said the new rail system will support and ease transportation in the country.
He restated his commitment to reviving the rail sector.
He called for stakeholders support especially from the National Assembly and lauded the transport Minister for his hardwork on projects.