JUST IN: I’m Focusing On Rails Because Many People Are Dying On Nigerian Roads- Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he prioritised rail projects because many Nigerian have died on the dilapidated roads.
Buhari made the revelation during a monitored interview on the NTA on Friday.
The development of the Nigerian rail lines is one of the focus of the ‘Next Level’ campaign agenda of the All Progressives Congress.
On Thursday President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned the commercial operations of the 156-kilometer Lagos-Ibadan railway project, a project valued $1.5bn.
Another cardinal rail project is the Lagos-Kano railway project which when completed will link the Kano– Maradi line at Kano.
The President in February said he has awarded the West – East Coastal rail line from Lagos to Calabar linking Onitsha, Benin, Warri, Yenagoa, Port Harcourt, Aba and Uyo.
Buhari said, “Two years ago or so, if you watch and see the number of people dying between Lagos and Ibadan alone, because of bad roads and because there are no railways, you will feel sorry for this country.
“That was why I made up my mind that one of my priorities is to make sure that the roads and the rails are rehabilitated.
“And tell me which country develops without infrastructure? Road, rails power.
“We have to get this correct and those who are worried about this country know that this administration is trying in terms of roads, in terms of rehabilitating the railways, in terms of increasing power relative to the resource that we have.
“Those who want to criticise us should criticise us objectively.”
He said the administration is also working on connecting major cities of the country by rail.
China-Eximbank provided most of the financing at $2.3bn and still expects China to give $5.3bn to link the Lagos- Ibadan rail to the North.
China Civil Engineering Construction Corp. is handling a bulk of the rail projects.
Credit Suisse Group AG, Africa Finance Corp. and German State bank KfW will provide $2bn loans to fund the rail line to Maradi in Niger Republic.
“We are planning that and we are grateful to the Republic of China. They have agreed to help us. They are helping us and we are doing our best,” Buhari added.