Chinazor Megbolu. |.
The Federal Government has once again applied for a Chinese loans of $5.3billion to kick start the construction of the Ibadan-Kano rail project.
The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi at the weekend while answering questions during a programme on Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Abuja, said that once the Chinese government approves the sum of $5.3 billion loan application, the rail project will commence.
According to him; “we are waiting for the Chinese government and bank to approve the $5.3 billion to construct the Ibadan-Kano. What was approved a year ago was the contract.
“The moment I announced that the federal government had awarded a contract of $5.3 billion to the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, CCECC to construct Ibadan-Kano; they assumed the money had come in. No!
“Up till now, we have not gotten the money a year after we have applied for the loan; we have almost finished the one of Lagos-Ibadan. If we don’t get the loan now, we can’t commence”.
Amaechi maintained that once the rail project is completed, it would link the Kaduna-Kano-Abuja-Minna-Ilorin-Oshogbo-Ibadan, where cargoes could be moved to Kano from Lagos State.
He also stated that wet cargoes would be conveyed from Lagos to Ibadan only, adding that when the Ibadan to Kano rail project is completed, wet and dry cargoes can be transported from Lagos to Kano.
“Nigerians should be more patient with the Ministry of Transportation over the issue of wet cargoes. Currently, we are trying to construct the railway into the seaports to enable us to transport either wet or dry cargoes to various destinations.
“The only wet cargoes that can go now is between Lagos to Ibadan. The moment we conclude that, we will be able to move wet cargoes all the way to Kano from Lagos.
” We should also commence the construction of Port Harcourt to Maiduguri and be able to move cargoes from Bonny to Maiduguri,” Amaechi said.
He further clarified that the Ministry of Finance is in charge of funding and not the Ministry of Transportation.
Furthermore, Amaechi averred that the Ministry has a Presidential seal of approval to seek loans to fund rail projects for the benefit of Nigeria and her citizenry
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