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$45 billion needed for rail development – Amaechi

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said that about $45 billion is needed to complete rail development in the country.

Amaechi, made this disclosure on Tuesday in Abuja, while also revealing that the federal government approved about $3.9 billion for the construction of Warri seaport and also awarded contract for Abuja-Warri rail line. 

“The President awarded the contract for Abuja to Warri, Abuja to Itakpe, then to Warri. From Warri rail to the seaport. We are building a new seaport in Warri, the cabinet approved it last week, that is about 3.9 billion dollars,” he said.

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According to him, soon as the Lagos-Kano, Port Harcourt-Maduguri, Lagos-Calabar and Abuja-Warri rail lines were constructed, the rail would have covered the country.

The minister also noted that the government has not spent over $3 billion so far on all the ongoing projects.

“The Lagos-Ibadan will cost about 1.6 billion dollars, that doesn’t include the extra cost of things we didn’t prepare for or see in the evaluation; Abuja-Kaduna was constructed with about a billion dollars.

“We also paid 500 million dollars to buy locomotives and rolling stocks for Lagos-Ibadan, I can’t remember how much we spent buying rolling stocks for Kaduna-Abuja, that is what we have spent so far.

“So all the noise that you hear people saying we have spent 8 point something billion dollars is not true. I don’t think we have spent up to three billion dollars so far. Railway is capital intensive, a trillion naira is about 2.7 billion dollars.

“And that is for 200km of railway, if you plan to do Lagos-Ibadan and you are looking at 8.7billion dollars that is between 3 and 4 trillion Naira. That is why I said we will need about 35 to 45 billion dollars.

“To be able to do Lagos-Kano, Port harcourt-Maduguri, Lagos-Calabar and Abuja-Warri, once we do this four tracks, we have covered the country and we have solved the problems of transportation to a great extent.”

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