The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has given an assurance that the Calabar-Port Harcourt Coastal rail line and the Lagos-Kano rail modernisation project would be completed before the end of 2018.
Amaechi said this on Wednesday in Abuja while signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the project with a Chinese company, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Ltd. (CECC).
The minister said the MoU was being signed in compliance with the China Exim Bank requirement.
He added that the Ministries of Finance, Works and Housing, National Planning and Justice were all involved in efforts to drive the project to completion in record time.
“I am told that before November, we can commence the Lagos-Ibadan construction.
“So, we can begin to count for CCECC in the case of Lagos-Ibadan from November, hoping that in November 2018, you should have finished work.’’
The minister further added that the Federal Government would get the counterpart fund for the project expected to cost 3.4 billion dollars.
In his remarks, Mr Jack Li, the Managing Director of CCECC, said that the project would be completed in record time.
He expressed optimism that the project, when completed, would not only benefit the people but the society at large.
He further gave an assurance that the Calabar-Port Harcourt Coastal rail line would be built in line with international standard.
“I want to give my commitment and assure you that on completion, the rail line will be as good as, or even better than the completed Abuja-Kaduna rail line.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari on July 26, commissioned the N11.1bn Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge rail project initiated by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Abuja-Kaduna rail line is the first standard line to be constructed in the country.
Rail transportation is the effective and efficient mode of transportation, particularly for the movement of agricultural produce and manufactured goods.