In a bid to ensure the country has an effective transport system, the Federal Government is negotiating a $15 billion loan to complete the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail project.
Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, disclosed this yesterday after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to him, the Itakpe/Warri railway project will be completed and commissioned by August this year.
The minister told State House Correspondents that the rail projects in the South-East had been approved but were being delayed by paucity of funds to commence work.
Amaechi said he was set to travel to India where the loan would be negotiated.
He also stated that President Buhari had approved that negotiation should be carried out for the loan and that the President had also given the approval for negotiation of funds for the execution of Lagos-Calabar rail project to ensure its speedy completion, stressing that lack of funds had been the reason for the delay.
He said: “Don’t forget that the Lagos-Calabar rail project is yet to start because of funds; the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri is yet to start because of funds, but the President has approved that we negotiate for funds.
“We are almost concluding negotiations for the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri. We are looking at the cost – is in the neighbourhood of between $14 and $15 billion.’’