2016 expenditure within budget plans, says Amaechi
He stated this in Abuja while briefing members of the House of Representatives Joint Committee on Transportation headed by Nkiruka Onyejiocha when they paid him a scheduled visit to exercise their oversight functions for the ministry.
He said that all spending on rail projects or contracts awarded for the 2016 fiscal year were documented for the lawmakers’ inspection.When asked to explain why the figures rose from $60 billion to $75 billion as amount earlier scheduled for completion of ongoing rail projects and contracts, Amaechi said that his ministry was not in charge of negotiation but the Federal Ministry of Finance.
He, however, told the lawmakers that the ministry merely monitors projects awarded and where necessary recommend who gets awarded a contract based on competence.Amaechi also promised that the ministry under his watch would provide every necessary document needed to help them carry out their oversight functions on the ministry.
On the increment of the railway budget from $60 billion to $75 billion, he said there was an extension of the Lagos- Calabar rail project to reach the seaport.He explained that the increase in funds was to accommodate the cost of extending the rail line to connect directly with the seaport, saying that Nigeria does not have such a rail system that extends to seaports and that such upgrade would be beneficial to the nation’s economy and freight transporters.
He also noted that the increase from the fact that the contract was executed at the rate of N195 to $1 but also stressed that the current value of the Naira was now between N305 to N400, arguing that the unforeseen development accounted for the increase of the contract sum from $60 billion to $75 billion.