FG secures $7. 5bn loan for Lagos–Kano rail line

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi

Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, on Monday said Federal Government had secured 7. 5 billion dollars loan for the construction of standard rail gauge from Lagos to Kano.

Amaechi made this known in Ilorin at the North Central Town Hall meeting ‎held in Ilorin for the people of Kogi, Niger and Kwara.

According to him, the loan was secured from a Chinese bank and the ministry is waiting for approval of the National Assembly to access the loan.

He said that 1. 4 billion dollars was for the construction of the rail gauge from Lagos to Ibadan while 6. 1 billion dollars would be used on Ibadan–Ilorin–Minna-Kaduna– Kano line.

The minister added that Kaura Namoda–Funtua rail line would be revived.

He, therefore, urged Nigerians to impress it on the National Assembly to approve the loan for work on the project to commence.

He added central rail project from Itakpe to Warri would be completed before the end of 2017, while narrow gauge line from Ilorin–Minna would also commence during the year.

Amaechi said plans were under way to connect Abuja to other parts of the country through the central line at Warri, while the Jos Inland Port would be completed in June, this year.

He said that a Lagos-Ijebu-Ode-Ore-Benin-Asaba-Agbor-Onisha-Sapele-Yenagoa-Port Harcourt-Uyo and Calabar coastal rail line would be constructed.

He said that work on the Eastern rail flank linking Aba to Port Harcourt, Makurdi, Enugu and Jos, would commence in June.

The minister said that Ekiti would be linked by rail through Osogbo and would run to Ilorin, Minna and Kano.

He said that the ministry had sought approval to purchase more coaches and locomotives for the Abuja-Kaduna light rail.

He reiterated the determination of the Federal Government to rehabilitate the Nnamidi Azikwe International Airport in Abuja.

According to him, the runway was built to last 20 years and has lasted 35 years and it is dangerous to allow planes to land there without putting things in good shape.

Amaechi said the All Progressives Congress (APC)-controlled Federal Government did not promise to fix Nigeria’s problem within a year.

He said that the people should wait till the end of four years before they could assess the government.

“We did not promise you that those challenges will be solved in one year; if we promised you that, you would have given us one year.

“You gave us your mandate for four years, so you have to wait till the end of four years,” he said.

He accused the National Assembly of holding the Federal Government back from fixing infrastructure problems and creating jobs by failing to approve its borrowing plans.

According to him, if accessed, the loan will enable the government to embark on the revitalization of rail projects which will create more jobs for Nigerians.

On her part, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, put the inflation rate at 18 per cent.

She advised Nigerians to reduce their over-dependence on imported goods as a way of bringing down the high rate of foreign exchange.

According to Ahmed, it is necessary for the people to shun imported foods like wheat and patronize locally grown rice.

In his remarks, Governor of Kwara, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed, called for synergy between the states and Federal Government to fix infrastructure.

According to him, the issue of decayed infrastructure was of great concern to those in the region.

The meeting was attended stakeholders, including traditional rulers, labour leaders, students, women societies, artisans and association of persons with disability.

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Rotimi Amaechi
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  • real

    The senate should not approve any loan until the loan is tied to a specific project, and we see detailed plan on the project revenue generation to repay the loan. It is time we stop taking loans that get added to the budget and is wasted or looted. if they want approval for the 7 billion for railway track. They need to lay out a complete plan for the construction, operation and repayment of that loan to the Chinese. All these have to have a time frame and provide accountability.

  • Ugoh

    You are stupid with your detailed plan request. Since when have you become so meticulous in Nigeria? For 16 years where have you been. This country has been landlocked due non functioning railway system and good highway road. Contracts were awarded and not paid for, all federal highway were bad an terrible. But now the PMB government is laying out clear cut foundation and your fellow looters in the National Assembly does not want to approve the loans to embark on massive social infrastructure development in the country. Because they cannot bargain or get any percentage cut from these loans that is they show no interest to approve the loan. If it were the era of GEJ, who is ready to give them percentages, they would have long approved the loans of any amount. yeye dey smell.

  • Easy

    Amaechi and PMB, so this where they’ve decided to loot it from!? Railway that we will never see or complete project. Thieves, APC robbers!

    • Adeyemi Oluwaseun Emmanuel

      By the grace of God i will be alive to see this railway project done and completed
      I dont know about YOU

  • Charity they say begins at home. Your coastal rail line should be uppermost in your mind than the Lagos to Kano rail line you are proposing. How much have you borrowed to construct the much taunted Lagos to Calabar Coastal line. People from the SS and SE paid through their noses to visit home during the Yuletide season and many died on the way. May this year would make you 2years in power. You are waiting for 4yrs. Next yr would be politics and campaign, what is remaining. Your tenure is over. Trump has achieved in 100days more than most Governments have achieved in 8yrs. Please dont be another GEJ whom you opposed vehemtly.

    • Adeyemi Oluwaseun Emmanuel

      You cant compare AMERICA TO NIGERIA
      America is a rich country, before TRUMP all amenities are done. So please STOP comparing Nigeria to other developed Countries in the world, for now Nigeria is still a baby and we the citizen believe it or not WE ALL NEED A CHANGE OF ORIENTaTION, enough is enough is to be blaming FG for everything LET THE CHANGE START FROM EVERY NIGERIAN