Amaechi says FG needs $656m to complete Lagos-Ibadan rail line
Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation says the Federal Government would need $656m to complete the ongoing work on the Lagos-Ibadan railway project.
The minister said this while defending the 2021 budget of his ministry before the National Assembly Joint Committee on Land and Marine Transport.
He also made it known that the Ibadan-Kano railway project would require $645.3m as advance payment to enable the Federal Government to complete its loan signing agreement with the China Exim Bank.
In September 2019, the Federal Government approved $5.3bn for the construction of Ibadan to Kano standard gauge rail line project.
Amaechi said, “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, signalling 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.
“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 $644.3m.”
He said the ministry planned to complete the fencing of the Abuja-Kaduna railway line for security purposes.
On Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri railway project, which was recently commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari, the minister said Nigeria still had an outstanding amount to be paid.
Amaechi also disclosed that reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri (Eastern Narrow Gauge railways) next year.