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FG budgets N80bn for new railway projects’ counterpart funds

Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi
Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi.

In continuation of its railway modernization drive and to connect all state capitals to railway, the Federal Government has proposed N80bn for seven railway projects across the country.

The N80bn is for counterparts funds for ongoing and new projects recently approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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The projects include Lagos-Kano (ongoing); Calabar-Lagos (ongoing); Ajaokuta-Itakpe-Aladja (Warri) (ongoing); Port Harcourt-Maiduguri (new); Kano-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradi in Niger Republic (new); Abuja-Itakpe and Aladja (Warri)-Warri Port and Refinery including Warri New Harbour (new) and Bonny Deep Sea Port and Port Harcourt and other rail projects.

This was contained in the 2019 budget proposal presented recently to the National Assembly by the president.

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Daily Trust recalls that the Federal Executive Council in 2017 approved the new railway project including the Kano-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradi which passes through Daura, the president’s home town in Kastina State. The project cost about $16bn.

The Lagos-Kano project has already commenced with the Lagos-Ibadan section which has reached more than 50 per cent completion stage.

If the budget is approved by the National Assembly on time and the counterpart funds paid to the contractor, China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), there are indications that the project might commence this year.

Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, had explained the rationale for the approval of the new railway projects covering the Eastern flanks and dismissed insinuations that the president deliberately favoured his area.

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