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Lack of funds delays rail projects across Nigeria, Amaechi laments

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The Federal Government has said that funding was delaying the commencement of several rail projects across the country.

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said this while speaking in Abuja at the annual ministerial briefing on programmes, projects and activities of the ministry and its agencies.

The minister however assured that work would soon begin on some selected rail projects for which contracts have been awarded.

The projects include the Ibadan-Kano, Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, Kano-Maradi and Lagos-Calabar rail lines.

The minister said: “We have awarded the following contracts and we are about to start and we have even tried to solve the financial problems. This is because we have the problem of having to hire consulting engineers.

“The ones we are about to start are Ibadan to Kano, that we are waiting for funds from China. We are about to start Port Harcourt to Maiduguri, we are waiting for the cabinet to approve consulting shares. We are also to start the Kano-Maradi and Lagos to Calabar projects.

“But one thing that is unique about these contracts is that the president early enough directed that all rail lines must terminate at the sea ports.

“That is why there may be a bit of adjustment in the pricing of Kano-Maradi because we have to adjust it to link up to Kano-Lagos so that it can terminate at Lagos seaport.”

Speaking on the achievement of the ministry so far, the minister said the 185.5km Lagos-Ibadan double standard gauge line with extension to Apapa seaport was nearing completion while the 186km Abuja-Kaduna and 302km Warri-Itakpe standard gauge lines have been completed and were functional.

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