NEWS FG bud­gets N80bn for new rail­way projects’ coun­ter­part funds

Daily Trust - - MONDAYBUSINESS - From Ab­dul­la­teef Aliyu, Lagos

In con­tin­u­a­tion of its rail­way mod­ern­iza­tion drive and to con­nect all state capi­tals to rail­way, the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has pro­posed N80bn for seven rail­way projects across the coun­try.

The N80bn is for coun­ter­parts funds for on­go­ing and new projects re­cently ap­proved by Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari.

The projects in­clude Lagos-Kano (on­go­ing); Cal­abar-Lagos (on­go­ing); Ajaokuta-Itakpe-Aladja (Warri) (on­go­ing); Port Har­court-Maiduguri (new); Kano-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradi in Niger Repub­lic (new); Abu­jaI­takpe and Aladja (Warri)-Warri Port and Re­fin­ery in­clud­ing Warri New Har­bour (new) and Bonny Deep Sea Port and Port Har­court and other rail projects.

This was con­tained in the 2019 bud­get pro­posal pre­sented re­cently to the Na­tional Assem­bly by the pres­i­dent.

Daily Trust re­calls that the Fed­eral Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil in 2017 ap­proved the new rail­way project in­clud­ing the Kano-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradi which passes through Daura, the pres­i­dent’s home town in Kastina State. The project cost about $16bn.

The Lagos-Kano project has al­ready com­menced with the Lagos-Ibadan sec­tion which has reached more than 50 per cent com­ple­tion stage.

If the bud­get is ap­proved by the Na­tional Assem­bly on time and the coun­ter­part funds paid to the con­trac­tor, China Civil En­gi­neer­ing and Con­struc­tion Com­pany (CCECC), there are in­di­ca­tions that the project might com­mence this year.

Min­is­ter of Trans­porta­tion, Mr. Ro­timi Amaechi, had ex­plained the ra­tio­nale for the ap­proval of the new rail­way projects cov­er­ing the East­ern flanks and dis­missed in­sin­u­a­tions that the pres­i­dent de­lib­er­ately favoured his area.

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