The Federal Government is about to start four rail line projects in various parts of the country, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, announced on Friday.
Amaechi announced this while speaking in Abuja at the annual ministerial press briefing on programmes, projects and activities of the Federal Ministry of Transportation and its agencies.
He outlined the four rail projects which the government was about to start to include the Ibadan-Kano, Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, Kano-Maradi and Lagos-Calabar rail lines.
The minister made no mention of the exact dates when the projects would start, but said the Federal Government was about to start the rail lines.
Amaechi 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 include 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.”
He added, “But one thing that is unique about these contracts is that the president early enough directed that all rail lines must stagnate 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.”
Amaechi said the 185.5km Lagos-Ibadan double standard guage line with extension to Apapa seaport was nearing completion, while the 186km Abuja-Kaduna and 302km Warri-Itakpe standard guage lines had been completed and were functional.
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the current government would leave a lasting legacy through the rail projects being constructed by the FMOT.
He said the official inauguration of some of the already completed rail projects would be done soon, as plans were on to get this settled in due course.