…..as FG seeks loan to fund Port Harcourt – Maidiguri rail line
ADEBIYI ADEDAPO, Abuja
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said that General Electric (GE) and the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Ltd (CCECC), will build universities of transportation in Nigeria.
This is just as the minister said the federal government was seeking a loan facility to finance the proposed Port Harcourt – Maidiguri rail line.
He expressed optimism that government would secure the loan soon and commence construction before 2019 general election.
Ameachi while speaking at the Osasu Show symposium yesterday in Abuja, noted that the government is not only focusing on making the rail lines in Nigeria work, but also building capacity for Nigerians.
“The President has approved it, but we are still looking for a loan, I hope we will get the loan soon so that we can commence work before the next election, ” he said.
The minister further stated that two major construction companies building the rails across Nigeria, will also build universities of transportation to train and empower Nigerians to build locomotives in about 10 to 15 years.
According to him, by the end of 2017, CCECC will be taking about 100 Nigerians to China to learn at undegraduate, postgraduate and PhD levels to return to Nigeria as faculty for the university of transportation.
He added that Nigeria’s fabrication of locomotive as taught at the upcoming universities will be hinged on the ability of the Ajaokuta Stell mill to function effectively.
“In the next 10 to 15 years, we should be able to fabricate locomotives, fabricate coaches — but in fabricating locomotives and coaches, we need to fix Ajaokuta steel mill,” Amaechi said.
The minister however disclosed that CCECC will deliver on the Lagos-Ibadan segment of the Lagos-Kano rail line by December 2018.
“For the Lagos – Ibadan segment of the Lagos – Kano rail line, I have told the contractor that it must be competed by the end of 2018, and I can assure that it will be completed, ” Amaechi stated.