FEDERAL Government of Nigeria has approved the construction of $5.3bn Ibadan-Kano standard gauge rail line.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed this on Thursday at the third Maritime Stakeholders’ Interactive Forum.
“Just yesterday, we got the approval to complete the $5.3bn Ibadan to Kano rail project. We have also applied for funding to commence a coastal rail for the Port Harcourt to Warri segment,” he said.
According to a statement issued by the Federal Ministry of Transportation in Abuja, the minister also revealed that the Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki, would be in charge of all maritime agencies, while he (Amaechi) would focus on the railway sector.
He said, “In my first term as minister, I completely abandoned the maritime sector to the heads of the agencies. This time round, that won’t be happening. I have instructed that the Minister of State for Transportation should personally supervise the maritime agencies, while I just oversee what is happening.”
Amaechi said he had discussed maritime safety issues with President Muhammadu Buhari and assured his audience that by next year, the country would have a single window in the maritime sector.
He said, “There are two things I discussed with Mr. President that I would be focusing on in this second term as minister. They are maritime security and the single-window project.
“I have assured government that by the end of 2020, we should have the single window in our maritime sector. On maritime security, I have told the Israeli firm, HSLI, that they are too slow. By now, they should have started. I want to know the situation of things with the aspect of security on our maritime space.”