THE Federal Government is hopping on the loan demanded by the country from China Exim Bank to commence the construction of Port Harcourt to Maiduguri rail line and Port Harcourt to Gombe rail line.
Disclosing this in Abuja at the weekend, the Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said that, “we are implementing the railway Master Plan introduced by the Obasanjo’s government and currently we are working on the Lagos-Ibadan railway.”
“We have awarded the contract from Ibadan-Kaduna and Kaduna-Kano and we have forwarded our documents for the loan from the China Exim Bank hoping that they will give us the loan this year for us to commence construction for the contract from Port Harcourt-Maiduguri which is about 2,000 kilometres because we have to take a spot from Port Harcourt to Owerri, Owerri passing through Nnewi-Awka-Abakiliki, while proceeding up to Gombe where we took a stop.”
The Minister also revealed that Ajaokuta-Itakpa-Warri rail will be commissioned in July 2018 “I need to go there to see how far they have gone because it’s not good enough that they (contractors) are praising, we are supposed to meet again and we met three weeks ago and I suppose to go there and come back. I think I should summon a meeting for next week to see how far they have gone and take a date for me too to go and visit the site.”
On the issue of security on Abuja-Kaduna rail service, Amaechi said “In fact, I saw one false, or what you can call it fake news, on social media which is not correct. But, you see how Nigerians on their own fabricated stories.”
“He said it was not true that armed robbers attacked Abuja-Kaduna train. “On every Coach, we have armed Policemen and we heard that armed robber’s attacked the rail line, it’s possible in the station, it cannot happen while the train is going and they said it happened in Rijana community.
“So, what we have done is that, in the train, we have provided security and to make it easier for those who are travelling from Kaduna to Abuja” he stated.