FG May Revise $1.9bn Contract Cost For Kano-Maradi Rail Project – Amaechi

The Minister of Transport, Chibuike Amaechi, has said that works on the rail project that has been awarded by the Federal Government will commence soon.

However, he said that the cost of the rail line linking Kano to Maradi in Niger republic may exceed the $1.9bn initially budgeted for the project.

Amaechi said this during the annual ministerial briefing on programmes, projects and activities of the Federal Ministry of Transportation and its agencies in Abuja.

According to the Minister, the projects for which work will begin are the Port Harcourt to Maiduguri, Kano-Maradi and Lagos to Calabar.

He said, “The ones we are about to start are Ibadan to Kano, and we are waiting for funds from China. We are about to start Port Harcourt to Maiduguri, we are waiting for the cabinet to approve consulting shares. We are also to start the Kano-Maradi and Lagos to Calabar.

“But one thing that is unique about these contracts is that the President early enough directed that all rail lines must stagnate at the sea ports.

“That is why there may be a bit of adjustment in the pricing of Kano-Maradi because we have to adjust it to link up to Kano-Lagos so that it can terminate at Lagos seaport.”

The 284-kilometer Kano- Maradi line has raised questions from Nigerians about the viability of linking a rail-line to one of the poorest countries.
The rail was awarded to Mota-Engil Group, the contractors to the railway project, and would connect three states- Kano, Katsina and Jigawa and then terminate at Maradi in Niger Republic.

Amaechi during the briefing disclosed that the 185.5km Lagos-Ibadan double standard gauge line with extension to Apapa seaport was close to completion.

According to him, the 186km Abuja-Kaduna and 302km Warri-Itakpe standard gauge lines had been completed and already in use.

He revealed that FG paid a total of N420.46m into the escrow account from revenue received from Abuja-Kaduna train services between 2017 to 2020. This was the period of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

The new online ticketing system introduced at the Abuja-Kaduna train service also added N50m to Nigerian Rail Corporation gross earnings, according to the Transport Minister.

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