Why Fed Govt Can’t Complete Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Railway Project – Transport Minister

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, stated this while fielding questions from State House reporters after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The former Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, had said that the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri line would be delivered before the end of the tenure of the present administration

Recall that President Buhari had two years ago performed the groundbreaking of the $1.96 billion rail line project meant to further stimulate economic activities.

But, Sambo said financing the project had become a challenge as the federal government had not been able to obtain the foreign counterpart funding embedded in the project, making it impossible to fund it as envisaged.

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He said, “It was approved on the premise that 85 per cent will be funded through foreign loan, while 15 per cent will be the counterpart funding for the national budget. Since that approval, we have not been able to obtain that 85 per cent foreign loans for this project.”

On the plan to resume the dredging of the Calabar Port after years of delay occasioned by various court cases, Sambo said there was a presidential directive for the immediate resumption of business at the port.

He said the Calabar Channel Management was part of the other channel managements that had existed in the Nigerian Ports Authority and its joint venture partners.

He confirmed that the legal issues in the joint venture partnership for the dredging of the port had led to the delay, adding that there had been a presidential directive that all outstanding court cases be resolved.

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