Ethnic differences, politics affecting railway modernisation — Amaechi
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has identified ethnic biases and politicisation of projects, as some of the factors hindering railway development in the country.
Amaechi also said financing is another challenge to railway development, because Nigerians are complaining about loans deployed for the projects. He explained that the Kaduna-Kano railway project is being financed from the budget, but the country is still negotiating for foreign loan to construct Ibadan to Kaduna railway.
Amaechi, who was guest lecturer at the yearly public lecture of the Department of Economics, University of Lagos, said politicising railway development is one of the major challenges facing the country, despite government’s effort to stimulate the economy.
He said rail projects are built with economy at the heart of it, because the economy should be the deciding factor for such developments and not ethnic biases.
“Virtually everything we do involves transportation. It is a key element in driving development globally, and it creates possibilities for other sectors. Therefore, you can’t even create employment, if you don’t create logistics.
“Nigerians are too ethnic conscious. We have very few Nigerians that are not, and ethnicity is putting pressure on the economics of railway construction. Railway is fuelled by economic activities, not by tribe. What determines a railway construction is economics, how many tons of cargo can be conveyed.”