Nigeria shops for $40billion to connect major cities by railways
The Nigerian Government has commenced negotiations with China, Russia for $40billion credit facilities to connect major cities by railway.
The Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi while inspecting the ongoing railway construction of the Lagos-Ibadan railway said government is sourcing funds from China Exim Bank, India and Russia, adding that not so many countries are willing to provide the fund.
Amaechi said the President has directed them to ensure the interconnectivity of all state capitals but Nigerians need to be patient, as they would need $36-40billion to complete the interconnectivity.
He said: “Nigerians need to ask what was done with the money when we had it. Those criticizing President Buhari’s administration should ask themselves that question. We were all enjoying the money by the way of corruption, now you are harassing us. It’s a bit difficult, but we are trying to find solutions to the challenges.
“But Nigerians should realize that these challenges are only resolved by funds and this funds are not readily available. Funding is a major challenge for us”
He maintained that railway construction is highly capital intensive as no investor would want to invest in railway construction, adding that he has challenged Nigerians who know any private firm that can construct railway to come forward.
He disclosed that the contract for the construction of Lagos to Calabar railway has been awarded but they are still sourcing for money, adding that government is still sourcing for funds for the construction of Lagos-Kano route.
He said he is a South-South man and emotionally attached to the project awarded under the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
Amaechi, however gave the assurance that the project cannot be abandoned given that the APC government got re-election, saying even if the minister is changed, it would still be the same government.