FG needs $1.3bn to commence work on railway linking Lagos, Ibadan and Kano state – Amaechi

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Over $1.301 billion is required by the Federal Government to complete the Lagos – Ibadan rail line project and commence work on the Ibadan – Kano rail line project.

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, made this known during the 2021 Budget defence of the ministry before the National Assembly Joint Committee on Land and Marine Transport.

According to the minister, the sum of $656m is required by the government to complete work on the Lagos – Ibadan rail line.

“Under the railway modern programme, I am happy to report that the construction of the Lagos – Ibadan Standard Gauge line has reached 92 per cent project completion.

“However, for the project to achieve full loan drawdown from our co-financier, China EXIM Bank, and attain practical completion for it to be used for the intended purpose, some aspects of works involving construction of upgraded railway stations, signaling and telecommunication system, power supply scheme and construction of pedestrian and overpass bridges have to be completed.

“This additional and extra works amounting to $656m, which is to be financed 100 per cent by the Federal Government of Nigeria has been approved by the Federal Executive Council for implementation,” the minister told the legislators.

For the Ibadan – Kano rail project, he stated that $645.3m is needed as an advance payment to enable the Federal Government completes its loan signing agreement with the China Exim Bank.

“Similarly, for the implementation of the Ibadan -Kano railway which is the outstanding segment of the Lagos – Kano railway project, one of the conditions precedent to signing of the loan agreement is the release of advance payment in the sum of $864m.

“Out of which Government has released the sum of $218.7m as part payment leaving a balance of $645.3m.”

On the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri railway project, the minister told the National Assembly Joint Committee on Land and Marine Transport that there is an outstanding amount to be paid on the project despite the completion and commissioning of the project by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He added, “The construction of the central railway from Itakpe to Abuja and a 378 kilometre single track standard gauge rail line traversing Kano-Katsina-Jibiya with a 20km extension to Maradi in Niger Republic has been slated for next year.”

He also noted that the Ministry will commence the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri (Eastern Narrow Gauge railways) next year.

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