After over one- year of approving the Ibadan-Kano Railway project, the Federal Government has blamed the delay in its take-off on inability to access the $5.3bn loan approved by the Chinese government for its funding.
The government stated its position in Abuja through the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
“We are waiting for the Chinese government and bank to approve the $5.3bn to construct the Ibadan-Kano. What was approved a year ago was the contract,” Amaechi said, in a statement issued by his media aide, Taiye Edeni.
The Federal Government had, in 2019, approved the $5.3bn project.
The rail line would link over six strategic locations in Africa’s most populous country, according to Amaechi.
The project would cover locations including, Kaduna, Kano, Abuja, Minna, Ilorin, Osogbo and Ibadan.
Amaechi said, “The moment I announced that the Federal Government had awarded a contract of $5.3bn to CCECC (China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation) to construct the Ibadan-Kano railway, people assumed the money had come in; no.
“We have not got the money, which is a year after we applied for the loan. We have almost finished that of Lagos-Ibadan. If we don’t get the loan now, we can’t commence.”
On the issue of wet cargoes, the minister said the rail line would also reduce concerns of tanker accidents across the affected roads.
He said, “Nigeria should be more patient with the Ministry of Transportation over the issue of wet cargoes.
“Currently, we are trying to construct the railway into the seaports to enable us to transport either wet or dry cargoes to various destinations. The only wet cargo that can go now is between Lagos to Ibadan.
“The moment we conclude that we will be able to move wet cargoes all the way to Kano from Lagos. We should also commence the construction of Port Harcourt to Maiduguri and be able to move cargoes from Bonny to Maiduguri.”
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