The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, said the federal government has approved the construction for Warri seaport at the cost of about 3.9 billion dollars and also awarded contract for Abuja-Warri rail line.

Amaechi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja that government also approved the linking of Abuja to Itakpe, Itakpe-Warri, then from Warri rail to the seaport.

“The President awarded the contract for Abuja to Warri, Abuja to Itakpe, then to Warri. From Warri rail to the seaport. We are building a new seaport in Warri, the cabinet approved it last week, that is about 3.9 billion dollars,” he said.

He however said that about 45 billion dollars was needed to complete rail development in the country.

He said that once Lagos-Kano, Port Harcourt-Maduguri, Lagos-Calabar and Abuja-Warri rail lines were constructed, the rail would have covered the country.

According to him, government has not spent over 3 billion dollars so far on all the ongoing projects.

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“The Lagos-Ibadan will cost about 1.6 billion dollars, that doesn’t include the extra cost of things we didn’t prepare for or see in the evaluation; Abuja-Kaduna was constructed with about a billion dollars.

“We also paid 500 million dollars to buy locomotives and rolling stocks for Lagos-Ibadan, I can’t remember how much we spent buying rolling stocks for Kaduna-Abuja, that is what we have spent so far.

“So all the noise that you hear people saying we have spent 8 point something billion dollars is not true. I don’t think we have spent up to three billion dollars so far. Railway is capital intensive, a trillion naira is about 2.7 billion dollars.

“And that is for 200km of railway, if you plan to do Lagos-Ibadan and you are looking at 8.7billion dollars that is between 3 and 4 trillion Naira. That is why I said we will need about 35 to 45 billion dollars.

“To be able to do Lagos-Kano, Port harcourt-Maduguri, Lagos-Calabar and Abuja-Warri, once we do this four tracks, we have covered the country and we have solved the problems of transportation to a great extend.” (NAN)

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