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Ibadan To Kano Rail Project Has Commenced

On Friday, the federal government confirmed that work would commence in earnest on certain rail projects which their contracts have been granted comprising of the Ibadan – Kano, Port Harcourt – Maiduguri, Lagos – Calabar and Kano –Maradi lines.

The statement was published by the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, in his speech at the annual ministerial briefing held in Abuja, with the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and the Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki among others.

Amaechi said the government has solved the financial problems that plague rail projects and added:

“We have awarded the following contracts and we are about to start and we have even tried to solve the financial problems. This is because we have the problem of having to hire consulting engineers.

“The ones we are about to start are Ibadan to Kano, that we are waiting for funds from China.

“We are about to start Port Harcourt to Maiduguri, we are waiting for the cabinet to approve consulting shares. We are also to start the Kano-Maradi and Lagos to Calabar but one thing that is unique about these contracts is that the President early enough directed that all rail lines must stagnate at the seaports.

“That is why there may be a bit of adjustment in the pricing of Kano-Maradi because we have to adjust it to link up to Kano-Lagos so that it can terminate at Lagos seaport.”
He also said that the 185.5km Lagos-Ibadan double standard gauge line extending to Apapa seaport would soon be completed while the 302km Warri-Itakpe and the 186kn Abuja –Kaduna standard gauge rail lines were already functional.

The Minister lauded the online ticketing system on the Abuja – Kaduna rail line, crediting it with the N50 million raise in earnings reported by the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) and in the same manner, frowned at the ticket racketeering schemes certain NRC employees are involved in, cautioning them against such acts and directing the NRC to criminalize the act and punish erring officers accordingly.

He also addressed the loan the Federal Government had taken to undertake these ventures, stating that the FG had “paid a total sum of N420.46m into the escrow account from revenue received from Abuja-Kaduna train services throughout the ERGP (Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017-2020).”

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