Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, claims that he just needs $36 billion to connect the entire country via train.
On Friday, Amaechi mentioned this on NTA’s ‘Good Morning Nigeria’ program, which The PUNCH monitored.
The minister added that railways require a lot of capital, making it difficult for private companies to invest in the industry.
He claimed that the Nigerian government borrows money from abroad because it is the only entity capable of providing the necessary collateral for such loans.
When asked why the Kaduna-Abuja railway had not been linked to Lokoja, Amaechi responded, “If we had money, I would want to be the minister that initiated and completed the linking of Nigeria. All I need is $36bn. With $36bn, all of them (will be linked).
“The project from Itakpe to Abuja is $3.09bn. If we have that, we will start it tomorrow morning.”
The former governor of Rivers State claimed the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd. ), has done very well in the area of infrastructure, but that if the Peoples Democratic Party gets power in 2023, the Buhari regime’s gains would be reversed.
Buhari, according to Amaechi, is a one-of-a-kind president since he did not cancel former President Goodluck Jonathan’s programs but instead decided to continue them for the benefit of Nigerians.
Nigeria had borrowed $3.12 billion from China as of March 31, 2020. Several rail projects are linked to the concessional loans. The Nigerian Railway Modernisation Project (Idu-Kaduna section), the Abuja Light Rail Project, the Four Airport Terminals Expansion Project (Abuja, Kano, Lagos, and Port Harcourt), the Nigerian Railway Modernisation Project (Lagos-Ibadan section), and the Rehabilitation and Upgrading of Abuja – Keffi- Makurdi Road Project are among the projects.