Abuja – Minister for Transportation Rotimi Amaechi has said that the Federal Government is negotiating a six-billion dollar loan with the Chinese government to complete the Ibadan to Kano rail track.
Amaechi made this known on Tuesday in Abuja during a news conference on the overhaul of the transport sector since the inception of the current administration.
According to Ameachi, completing the Ibadan to Kano corridor among others in the country will help to boost the nation’s economy.
“We are currently in negotiation with the China EXIM bank to get nearly about six billion dollars to do from Ibadan to Kano.
“It is a difficult decision because the money required is about 8 billion dollars to do the double track but the Chinese are insisting that they cannot fund double track so they are asking us to do a single track.
“They are asking us to do a single track and they want it at Minna so that instead of going from Minna to Kaduna, we should go from Minna to Abuja and then join it from Abuja to Kaduna.
“But there are those who argue that we should not accept that, rather we should tell them (Chinese) to fund it in segments. This, however, does not make economic sense.
“We are compelled to adjust just to have movement of goods, personnel and services from Lagos to Kano.
“What makes economic sense is the ability to get the track to a seaport so that we can move goods.
“ What makes economic sense to rail services is the movement of goods,’’ Amaech said.
Amaechi said that the ministry was also in talk with some companies in America to fund the Lagos to Calabar rail corridor and another Chinese company to fund Port Harcourt to Maiduguri corridor.
He explained that this was in line with the directives of President Muhamaddu Buhari that the rail lines must reach all state capitals.
The minister of transportation said that there was also a huge improvement in the water transportation sector.
Amaechi said that on the approval for waterways security, 195 million dollars had been approved as he expressed confidence that it would help reduce crime in the maritime sector.
According to him, the Federal Government has approved l 195 million dollars to hire an Israeli company to help train security personnel to man the waterways.
He said under the watch of the current administration, the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA) had moved from contract awarding to a proper regulatory agency.
Amaechi said that the aviation sector had also experienced a great overhaul which improved safety without incidence of plane crash during the current administration.
He said to ensure the continued safety in the aviation sector, the Federal Government would ensure that equipment and policies remained in place. (NAN)