COVID-19 slowing down railway projects - Amaechi

COVID-19 slowing down railway projects - Amaechi

- Rotimi Amaechi has revealed why railway projects of President Buhari's administration have not been completed

- The minister of transportation said on Tuesday, May 26, that coronavirus pandemic is slowing down the projects

- Amaechi said the federal government was already negotiating to commence construction of rail line from Bonny in Port Harcourt

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Rotimi Amaechi, the minister of transportation, has expressed worry over the effects of the coronavirus on Nigeria's existing railway projects.

Vanguard reports that the minister said all ongoing works on the sites have been slowed down due to the ravaging coronavirus pandemic. gathered that Amaechi gave the hint as a special guest of the Vanguard Live, on Tuesday, May 26, ahead of his 55th birthday on Wednesday, May 27, saying all works have been slowed down since the shutdown which resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The minister reiterated his belief in President Muhammadu Buhari's administration, stating that if not for the shutdown, passengers could move from Lagos to Ibadan by rail without using the road.

COVID-19 slowing down railway projects - Amaechi
The minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, during a rail inspection.
Source: Original

He said before the pandemic, the federal government was already negotiating to commence construction of rail line from Bonny, in Port Harcourt, Rivers state to Maiduguri, through Bauchi and Jos, the Plateau state capital.

Amaechi, however, stated that the negotiations have been hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic, stressing that the Chinese hardly come for meetings despite assurances that they would source for the funds.

The minister said the federal government is currently scouting for funds all over the world to ensure the project, including the Ibadan-Kano rail line, is executed for the benefits of Nigerians.

"If not for COVID-19, you can transport from Lagos to Ibadan without going by road, and that costs up to 1.6 billion dollars. I am worried about, we were already negotiating a contract from Bonny in Port Harcourt to Maiduguri, going to Yobe, Bauchi, Jos, and all those areas, it has completely slowed down.

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"All attempts to push them to come for a meeting, they come for a meeting but they are worried about funding, even though they said they will try their best to get the funds. We are looking all over the world to see where we can borrow money to do Bonny, Port Harcourt railway line. And we are also deliberating with the Chinese so that we can start Ibadan to Kano rail line," he stated.

Amaechi, while expressing belief in the present administration recalled that the previous administrations gulped up to 365 million dollars on railway rehabilitation of the nation's narrow gauge but none of the jobs, were executed, stressing that today Nigerians can move from Abuja to Kaduna and Lagos to Ibadan.

Meanwhile, had previously reported that in his admiration of President Muhammadu Buhari's character, Amaechi, said that he cannot match him in the discipline.

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Amaechi mentioned that President Buhari's discipline displays itself in his ability to resist responding to criticisms of his detractors regularly.

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