The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has disclosed that the Federal Government is considering securing fresh loans to finance some of the country’s rail projects.
The minister stated this on Tuesday shortly after a meeting he had with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Mr Amaechi said the President had approved that negotiation should be carried out for $15bn loan for the Port Harcourt – Maiduguri and Lagos-Calabar rail projects.
“The Lagos-Calabar rail project is yet to start because of funds; the Port Harcourt – Maiduguri is yet to start because of funds, but the President has approved that we negotiate for funds.
“We are almost concluding negotiations for the Port Harcourt – Maiduguri. We are looking at the cost which is in the neighbourhood of between $14bn and $15bn,” the minister said.
Mr Amaechi also said laying of tracks on the Lagos-Ibadan railway would commence in April.
He expressed the hope that the exercise will be completed latest by January 2019.
This, he said, would provide job opportunities for Nigerians.
He added, “If the rain doesn’t start early, we will start laying tracks on the Lagos-Ibadan route in April.
“Hopefully, we believe we can complete it in December or January and open it up for passengers and business.
“We expect about 6,000,000 tons of cargo out of the 30,000,000 tons of cargo that we have between Lagos and Kano.
“In terms of job creation, you can be rest assured that it will be in thousands.”