“By December, we should conclude the Lagos-Ibadan rail line extension into the port”, said Nigeria’s minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
Amaechi was speaking on Sunday (yesterday) at the 15th Annual Kaleidoscope Global Business Conference hosted by the Consulate General of Nigeria in New York, United States.
Amaechi stated that many Nigerians have asked why the construction of railways; and explained that the federal government was focusing on the development of the railway and seaport in a bid to drive the nation’s economy.
“At least 80 percent of the cargoes we have in Nigeria are mostly imported because the Nigerian economy was yet to generate enough production.
“However, the president is of the view that if we must produce, we must have the infrastructure that enables that production, hence the focus on transportation, power and works.
The minister said although the railway project had started before the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, the nation’s seaports were not included in the design.
He added that one of the first things the government did was to rework the plan and link the rail network to seaports across the country.
Amaechi added: “So, we started with the Apapa seaport. We are working there now and I believe by December, we should conclude the Lagos-Ibadan rail line extension into the port.
“We then added the Warri Seaport, the Calabar seaport and Tin Can Island. We are making sure that all of them (rail lines) include seaports.”
According to him, contract for the 386km rail line from Kano to Maradi in the Republic of Niger will be awarded soon.
He added that the contract award for the 1,500km eastern rail line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri would also be awarded by September 30.