Posted by Gbenga Abiodun on
The construction of new rail lines from the Tin Can Island, Apapa, Lagos, to Kano central metropolis, making up the first phase of the overhaul of the rail system in the country would cost.....
The construction of new rail lines from the Tin Can Island, Apapa, Lagos, to Kano central metropolis, making up the first phase of the overhaul of the rail system in the country would cost government $8.3billion (about N1.01trillion).
President Olusegun Obasanjo, who stated this in a nation-wide broadcast to Nigerians yesterday, said construction works on the project would commence within the next few weeks after contract formalities would have been completed.
The president explained that while $2 billion of the amount has already been obtained as a soft loan from the Chinese government, the federal government will immediately commit a total of $2.5 billion for the take-off of the project. About $1billion will come from the Chinese government concessionary loan and $1.5 billion as federal government counterpart funding between 2006 and 2007.
President Obasanjo admonished those still encroaching on railway land and right of ways across the country to immediately vacate such lands to prevent such structures from being demolished by the government.
According to him, the new scope of work in constructing standard gauge rail lines with a speed of 120 kilometres to 150 kilometres per hour passenger trains and 80 kilometres per hour for freight services, will require additional hectares of land. He appealed to state governments and land occupiers to cooperate in making land available for the project.
The construction of the rail line, which will make use of local materials as much as possible, he added, will employ thousands of Nigerians immediately, promote technology transfer, building of new skills and the development of rail-allied industries.
The phase two of the modernisation and expansion of rail lines is the Port Harcourt to Jos axis, which the president said will follow on the heels of the phase one project.
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