By Abdullahi M. Gulloma Abuja
Th e federal government needs about $16 billion to construct major rail lines, Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has said.
Th e minister said this yesterday while speaking to State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Th ere are approvals for our sector but we have to look for the money because the money is not just there.
We need about $16 billion dollars and we can’t just pluck that form the sky.
We will try and see if we can get Public Private Partnership PPP, especially as it pertains to the seaports.
“Th ere are two deep seaports that were approved; the Bonny and Warri deep seaports.
As for the Port Harcourt railway industrial park, we should also be able to get that done through PPP even though I doubt if we will be able to get railway as PPP because it is quite expensive,” he said.
Th e minister government would bring in more coaches and locomotives before the end of this year to boost rail transportation across the country.
He said a total of 10 locomotives are expected for Kaduna/Abuja and another seven for the Itakpe/Warri as that axis is expected to be ready by next year June.
“Th e President sleeps and wakes up thinking about our railways; therefore I must always see him and tell him how far we have gone.
Once he hears the progress that is being made, he feels happy.
“He is also very pleased with what we have done in terms of the narrow gauge, between now and December; we are bringing in more locomotives, coaches and wagons, 10 for Kaduna-Abuja axis and another seven, for Itakpe-Warii axis,” he said.