Negotiations ongoing to Commence Port Harcourt –Maiduguri Railline : Rt Hon Amaechi.
Plans are underway by the federal government to begin the construction of the Port Harcourt to Maiduguri rail line; this was revealed by the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi in Abuja, Monday
Amaechi explained that negotiations are already ongoing with the Chinese Government to begin the project. He also revealed that the Federal Government will also continue its negotiations with Russians for the commencement of the Lagos-Calabar Rail Project.
According to him, “The six geo-political zones are all covered, Port Harcourt –Maiduguri covered Port Harcourt, Aba, Owerri, Umuahia, Enugu, Abakaliki, Awka, Markurdi, Lafia, Akwanga Jos, Bauchi Gombe and connects to Yobe Damaturu and then Maiduguri.
“The Lagos Calabar is the whole of the South-South. We have Lagos coming through Akure, Benin and then from Benin and we have a spot leading to Agbor and Asaba and then to Onitsha and then you continue to Benin to Ughelii, Warri, Yenagoa, Port Harcourt, Aba, Uyo and Calabar that takes care of the South-South while Port Harcourt – Maiduguri takes care of the South East and the North East.
“The Lagos Kano also takes care of South West and part of the North West, and North Central. The central line that starts from Abuja also takes care of the North Central, Kogi, and also takes care of kwara and all of these requires money”, he said.
While also acknowledging Nigeria’s rising borrowing profile as expressed by the Ministry of Finance, Amaechi explained that the construction of the rail lines across the country required huge capital.
‘’If we can’t get money enough for the new once we can as well borrow money to rehabilitate the old ones.
Currently what we n ow have as functional lines, Lagos-Ibadan 156km, Abuja-Kaduna 186km and Itakpe-Warri which is about 350km all put together Under this Government we have recorded a total about 600+km of railway and by the time we complete Ibadan-kano which is about 860km, we will be having 1500+km railway constructed by this Government
“I hope that the next government that will take over from us will be able to do something in that regard to progress the railway, because even if we finish Lagos-Kano, we still need to finish Lagos-Calabar and Port Harcourt –Maduguri,” he stated