Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, has said that the Federal Government was set to apply for a $11billion loan to construct Lagos to Calabar rail.
The minister said this during an interactive session with the South-East and South-South Professionals of Nigeria, SESSPN, in Lagos on Monday, October 19.
“We are applying for $11billion loan to construct Lagos to Calabar rail. There was no design for Port Harcourt-Maiduguri. We knew that the first thing to do was to commence a feasibility study, after that, we’ll do the design. It’s now they’ll start to do the site drawing.
The President told us that all rail lines in Nigeria must be standard gauge. So, we did a standard gauge design for the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line. We went to Bonny to do the study and we did that study up to Maiduguri. I did a feasibility study that brought it between $14 billion to $11 billion.
When we finished, we got approval from the President, but I realised that we may not get the money in this government. I changed my course, and I said, while we are looking for money for the standard gauge for Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, let me ask for money to reconstruct the narrow-gauge at $3.1 billion. And the President after much argument, accepted.
At least, I’m sure that before we leave government, we would have done up to 80 per cent of that rail line,” he said.