The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Tuesday said that the $36bn being sought by the Federal Government for rail lines construction across the country would be used to connect virtually all state capitals in Nigeria by rail.
Speaking as a guest during a radio programme monitored by our correspondent in Abuja on Tuesday, the minister said, “When I spoke I didn’t say the money ($36bn) was there. I was asked how much we would need to take the rail transport to various state capitals. I said that we would need about $36bn and that includes the two deep seaports that we want to construct, one in Bonny and the other in Warri.
“Don’t forget that all railway transport in Nigeria should terminate at the seaports and at the airports, if you must do a modular kind of transportation. And even if you have the $36bn, this current government cannot spend all that money to construct railways. What we are saying is that that is the projection for the construction.”
He added, “We are currently focusing on Lagos-Kano, which is about $8.3bn. We’ve got a loan from the China Exim Bank for $1.5bn to construct Lagos-Ibadan; we’ve completed the Kaduna-Abuja rail, and the three kinds of loans we are negotiating now, we hope to get them. But we are not sure if we will get them.
“However, we are negotiating Ibadan to Kano which is to terminate in Lagos-Ibadan, we are negotiating Lagos to Calabar and it is $11.17bn and covers the whole of the South-South and part of the South-East.”