Nigeria’s minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, says the rail infrastructure is a capital intensive sector and Nigeria needs about $45billion to solve the nation’s “problem of transportation to a great extent.”
Amaechi, on Tuesday, in an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, explained how much has been spent so far on rail infrastructure in Nigeria.
He said further that because the sector is capital intensive, huge funds will be needed to construct more railroads and acquire more coaches.
The minister agrees that acquiring more coaches will reduce overstretching the current coaches operating in railways in the country.
“It is capital intensive. N1trillion is about $2.7billion and that is just about 200kilometres of the railway. So if you plan to do Lagos-Ibadan and you are looking at about $8.7billion – this will be between N3trillion and N4trillion. How much is the budget of the country?
“That is why I said we need about $35 to $45 billion to be able to do Lagos-Kano, Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, Lagos-Calabar, and Abuja-Warri. Once you do these four tracks, you have covered the country, and you have solved the problem of transportation to a great extent,” he said.
The minister also gave a breakdown of the expenses inquired so far on rail construction, most especially on the Lagos-Ibadan railroad.
He disclosed that the Federal Government is making efforts to acquire coaches and locomotives for the Lagos-Ibadan railroad.
“Lagos-Ibadan Railroad will cost about $1.6billion. This does not include the extra cost of things we did not prepare for. The Kaduna-Abuja construction will cost about $1billion.
“We have paid about $500milllion to buy locomotives for Lagos-Ibadan. So that’s what we’ve so far spent,” he said.
Amaechi, who is also the former governor of Rivers State said he is not at war with the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike.
He said he is only inconvenient with the level of insecurity in the state.
“There is no war going on between Wike and I. It is like my friend Akpabio when we met the other day, I said it, we are not quarreling.
“What is going on between Wike and me is the fact that he wants to run a second term. The fact is that he ran the first term in which people were killed. Today, he is accusing the army and not the police because they refused the take bribe from him.”
The former governor boasted that during his administration as Rivers State governor, he investigated every death and ensured the arrest of the perpetrators.