$16 billion required to construct, modernise the railways in Nigeria: Transportation Minister

$16 billion required to construct, modernise the railways in Nigeria: Transportation Minister

October 10, 2017: Infrastructure improvement in Africa has gained momentum in the recent past. Most of the countries are investing more in extending railway lines and modernising the existing ones.

The newspapers reported quoting the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi that the Nigerian government needs about $16 billion to construct and modernise major rail lines. The Minister was speaking to the State House correspondents post his meeting with the President Muhammadu Buhari.

Amaechi said he was summoned by the president to brief him on the progress made on the projects. "You are aware that we have gotten approval for eastern flank of the Nigerian Railway modernisation which is from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri, which is cutting across Aba, Owerri, Enugu, Umuahia, down to Abakalili, Awka, Makurdi, Lafia, Bauchi, Gombe, Yola and to Damaturu and ends in Borno.

"And then the other railway from Kano to Maradi in the Niger Republic and then (I came) to brief the president about how we are progressing with the negotiations for loans and possible financiers," he said.

Amaechi also said he briefed Buhari about projects within the Lagos-Ibadan axis and what is being done we to complete the Lagos-Kano railway. The transportation minister said his ministry has already been approved all the projects, adding that the government "has to look for the money first."

"The money is not just there, it is a total of about $16 billion, and you don't just pluck $16 billion from the sky," he said.

He also said the ministry is looking at the possibility of a public-private partnership (PPP) for some of the projects. 

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