My ministry wasn't favoured by President Buhari - Amaechi

My ministry wasn't favoured by President Buhari - Amaechi

Minister of transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has dismissed insinuations that his ministry has been favoured by President Muhammadu Buhari, due to his closeness to the Nigerian leader.

Amaechi, 53, is reputed to be one of the best performing outgoing ministers and has been a long-term politically ally of President Buhari.

Addressing journalists at his valedictory press briefing in Abuja on Thursday, May 23, Amaechi said talks about his ministry and that of the works, housing and power ministry being favoured by Buhari were because the president was genuinely interested in the infrastructural development of Nigeria.

Nigeria's works, power and housing ministry is manned by Babatunde Fashola, a former governor of Lagos.

READ ALSO: Infrastructural development: Nigeria seeking $140bn loan from US, others - Osinbajo

“The president does not favour me or Fashola's ministry, it is just that he is interested in the infrastructural development of the country.

“So, he pays more attention to ministries that would deliver in terms of infrastructural development,” Amaechi said.

The minister also revealed that the federal government had requested a fresh $1.8 billion from the China Exim Bank for the construction of the coastal rail line.

He pointed out that the actual cost of the project was $2.3 billion while the government is to pay $500 million as counterpart fund.

On the delayed take-off of the national carrier, Amaechi admitted that the differences among members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the modality to be adopted were standing in the way of the project.

His words: “On the national carrier, the cabinet is divided on the issue of modality. There are those who believe that the Federal Government should invest and then sell off its equity later.”

Meanwhile, a recent media report indicates that few days to President Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration for a second term on May 29, ministers have intensified lobby to retain their appointments in the federal cabinet.

READ ALSO: Atiku calls for Lai Mohammed’s arrest, demands apology

According to the report, about 70 percent of the current ministers are desperately lobbying to serve in the next cabinet.

Some of the ministers seeking to return to the cabinet are said to have abandoned their tasks and are busy chasing after close associates of the president to help them into the anticipated federal council.

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