By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has shed light on the progress made on railway projects across Nigeria’s geopolitical zones.
He said work on the standard gauge railway from Iju to Apapa in Lagos State is facing the problem of urbanization.
The problem involves dismantling gas, water, and fuel pipelines, he pointed out.
According to the minister, there is one Escravos pipeline that is very dangerous. “Once you shut it down there will be fuel scarcity, and we can’t afford to shut it down,” Amaechi stressed.
He disclosed that Flour Mills installations in Apapa Wharf axis will be demolished and compensation paid to the owners of the firm.
“Flour Mills is not the problem. We will talk with them, pay them compensation and then demolish the place,” Amaechi said after the inspection of Apapa area of the project this month, September.
The minister of transportation remarked that work will start from Ibadan to Kano, from Kano to Kaduna, and from Ibadan to Ilorin if the loan applied for the purpose is made available.
“Lagos to Kano has been awarded already. The only thing delaying Ibadan to Kano is the loan. The moment we conclude the loan discussion, and if approved by China Exim Bank, then we start from Kano to Kaduna, and also from Ibadan to Ilorin,” Amaechi elaborated.
He clarified issues relating to coastal rail service, stating that federal government has already applied for loan from China to execute the project.
He declared: If we get the loan, we can then start the segment from Port Harcourt to Warri, and from Benin to Onitsha. The loan is from China, but not China Exim Bank.”