The Federal Government on Monday said it had released N72 billion, the full counterpart funding for the construction of Lagos-Ibadan railway modernisation project.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed this while speaking at the second quarterly Presidential Business Forum in Abuja.
Amaechi also appealed to the National Assembly to approve the federal government’s request to obtain $30billion foreign loans, saying it would speed up the development of the country.
He said: “The construction of the Lagos-Ibadan Railway, the government has been kind enough to release the counterpart funding in full.
“I think in the history of Nigeria, this is the first time that we are releasing counterpart funds in full so that there will be no delay since the Chinese loan appears to have been approved.
“The only thing we need to do, I thank God there is somebody from the National Assembly, is to plead with the National Assembly that the funds have been approved, then the National Assembly should please approve the $30billion loan.
The railway project, which has been awarded to the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, will be jointly funded by the Nigerian and Chinese governments.
The project which is scheduled to start next February will cost about $1.5bn (N458bn).
The next phase, according to the minister, will be Kaduna-Kano.
He added that the government has three priority railway projects in the immediate term which are the Lagos-Ibadan, Kaduna-Kano and Calabar – Port Harcourt.
The larger picture of the railway project within the South runs from Lagos to Calabar. It is as follows:
- Lagos -> Ijebu -> Ore -> Benin
- Benin -> Agbor -> Asaba ->Onitsha
- Benin ->Sapele -> Warri ->Ughelli -> Yenagoa -> Port Harcourt -> Aba -> Uyo -> Calabar