The Minister of Transportation in Nigeria, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has said that the Calabar – Lagos Railway project will commence as soon as there is available funds because since it has approved by the Federal Execuitive Council (FEC),
The Minister stated this at Abuja during
the “Annual Ministerial Press Briefing on Landmark Programmes, Projects and Activities of the Ministry and its Agencies in the year 2020”. He also disclosed that construction of Kano-Maradi, and Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri railway projects are set to commence.
According to him “We have awarded the following contracts and we are about to start and we have even tried to solve the financial problems.
“The ones we are about to start are Ibadan-Kano, that we are waiting for funds from China. We are about to start Port Harcourt- Maiduguri, we are waiting for the cabinet to approve consulting shares. We are also to start the Kano-Maradi and Lagos- Calabar”.
He disclosed that there is a Committee working on the National Transport Policy has been set to unveil the untapped potentials in African Continental Free trade Area (AfCFTA), adding that they are having conversations with the office of the Vice President.
“In attendance is myself, the Minister of State for Transport, Minister of Works, Minister of Finance and it is being chaired by the Vice President. “We intend to come up with the transport policy before the year runs out.
“Anything we would want to write about, the Draft National Maritime Policy will be embedded in the National Transport Policy. If at all we write anything on it, it will not be submitted because it is already an offshoot of the National Transport Policy.
“The same with the National Road Transport policy, the Minister of State came with a detailed National Road Transport Policy which will be a part of the National Transport Policy,” Amaechi explained.
He noted that with the introduction of the online ticketing system on the Abuja-Kaduna train service, the NRC had been able to raise its earnings by about N50 million after deducting its operational cost. He however frowned at the ticket racketeering perpetrated by some employees of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), and directed the management of the NRC to deal decisively with anyone found culpable.
Speaking, Hon Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed commended Amaechi, adding that the Ministry of Transportation is one Ministry that has been monitoring the projects particularly the rail and other projects which will leave a lasting legacy for this administration.
“Anytime I face the media, it is the achievements of transportation that is readily available to mention. I am very proud to be associated with the Ministry of Transportation”, Lai expressed.
Earlier in her remarks, the Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, stated that the National Transport Policy would drive the transport sector forward, adding that the policy is expected to be documented by July, 2021.
“It will provide a sustainable, responsible, accessible and an economical viable transportation system to all Nigerians. This is key to economic growth and the overall welfare of the citizens,” she said.