Buhari urged to deliver on vital projects
President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to ensure the delivery of the ongoing standard gauge rail lines and other vital rail infrastructure to Nigerians before 2019.
Making the call on Monday during the budget defense session organised by the Senate Committee on Land Transport for the Ministry of Transport, the Chairman of the committee, Senator Gbenga Ashafa charged the Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi to remain conscious of the fact that the 2018 Appropriation cycle is the most important in the life of the Buhari’s administration. “It is expected that most of the projects that the government started since 2015 must be delivered through next year’s budget, if the party must retain the confidence and loyalty of the electorate, who voted massively for it during the next general election.
While insisting that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government need to hit the ground running, the lawmaker representing Lagos East senatorial district, said there is the need to ensure the delivery of many critical infrastructure necessary to ease transportation in the country.
Ashafa also called for synergy between the committee and the Ministry for speedy passage of the 2018 Budget, saying the Monday meeting was the second in series where committee and the ministry interacted over the budget defence in 2017. This he attributed to the administration’s commitment to ensure speedy passage of the 2018 Appropriation Bill into law.
Meanwhile, Amaechi told the committee that the Lagos to Kano standard gauge railway project initially scheduled for completion in 2018 would most likely finish by the first quarter of 2019 due to several technical works involved.
He also explained that priority has been placed on the completion of the ongoing Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri-Aladja railway project, which commenced 32 years ago and the counterpart funding that will be required as Federal Government contribution for the financing of the Ibadan-Kano project and the Nigerian Coastal line Lagos-Calabar project.
He also briefed the committee about the new projects that were inserted into the 2018 budget proposal, which President Buhari has given approval to the Ministry to source for financiers. These include the new standard guage Rail line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri passing through Enugu, Lafis, Makurdi, Gombe with branch lines to Owerri, Onitsha, Awka, Abakaliki, Yola, Jalingo and Damaturu amongst other projects.
With the conclusion of the budget defence, the Senate Committee on Land Transport is expected to conduct an oversight visit to the Ministry of Transport.
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