The ministry of transportation has sought multi-billion dollar loans from Chinese, Portuguese, and Turkish financial institutions.
The credit facilities, according to the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, would be used to complete ongoing rail projects across the country.
Sambo made this disclosure to the Joint National Assembly Committee on Land and Marine Transport, chaired by Senator Danjuma Goje.
The minister also said that out of the N147 billion budgeted for the ministry, N52 billion, representing 35%, has been released.
His words: “Currently, the implementation of the Kaduna-Kano, Port Harcourt to Maiduguri and Kano – Maradi Segments of the Railway Modernization is ongoing with the Federal Government counterpart funding in the 2022 appropriation.
“The Ministry hopes that the Federal Ministry of Finance concludes negotiation of the loans with infrastructure development finance institutions of Chinese, Portuguese and Turkish origin to implement the projects.
“To ensure finalising and signing of the loan agreements, evidence of source of funding of the balance of the advance payment and other aspects of work to be financed directly by the Federal Government has to be made available to these financial institutions through adequate budgetary provisions in the year 2023 budget and subsequent budgets.
“Permit me to also report that the Lagos – Ibadan segment of the Lagos – Kano and Itakpe to Warrii railway project are fully operational and receiving patronage from the general public. To reach practical completion on these projects, some aspects of works, including construction of Overpass Bridges, connection to the National Grid, and other ancillary provisions have to be completed. Therefore, adequate funds need to be provided in the 2023 budget to facilitate the practical completion of the projects.
“While recording successes achieved in the Railway Subsector, permit me to also mention the sad occurrence of the Abuja – Kaduna Rail incident. With the release of those abducted, the Ministry plans to commence operation on the line, but not without taking proper precaution by installing necessary security gadgets to monitor the line and forestall a reoccurrence.”