Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi has disclosed that Nigeria needs not less than N46 billion dollars (about N16.56 trillion) to construct its three major speed rail lines.
The minister said this on Tuesday in Papalanto, near Abeokuta, Ogun State during a joint inspection of the Lagos-Ibadan standard rail gauge with the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
According to him, the three speed rail line projects – Lagos to Kano, Lagos to Calabar and Port Harcourt to Maiduguri – were crucial to the administration of President Muhammadu.
The minister said that although the government did not have the fund ready to finance the projects, but the President had directed him to source for the fund because of the importance of the projects.
“We don’t have the money available but we have to source it.
“The Federal Government must look for the money, we may likely borrow the money because the money is not just there.
“For now, the Chinese are funding the Lagos to Kano rail project and any of those that we have approached, when they give us money for the other two projects we will gladly take.
“This is because it is a long time investment and the money will not be recovered in time,” he said.
The minister said that he had approached the Russian Nexim Bank for funding of any of the rail project.
Speaking on the 156km Lagos-Ibadan rail project, Amaechi said they were working to meet the December 2018 completion deadline.
He said upon completion, it would take a speed train of 150km per hour that would travel from Lagos to Ibadan in one hour.
“We will introduce express train that will take off from either Apapa or Ebute Metta straight to Abeokuta and to Ibadan.
“We will also introduce train that will stop in all the nine stations to give passengers choices,” he said.