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It Is No Longer Feasible To Deliver Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Rail Project – Federal Government

Federal Government Says It Is No Longer Feasible To Deliver Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Rail Project

The Federal Government has said it will no longer be able to complete the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri eastern rail line before President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office in May 2023.

Federal Government

Federal Government Says It Is No Longer Feasible To Deliver Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Rail Project

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, told State House Correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Sambo said this is because the foreign loans required to fund the project are no longer available.

“Now, the truth of the matter is that if there was a promise to deliver this line before the end of this administration, this promise is no longer feasible because…funding has been a major challenge for this project,” he said.

The China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, in April 2022, commenced construction of the 2044.1km railway project.

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The project, with an execution budget of $3bn, will link states in southern Nigeria to the north through the eastern states.

Reports say the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who inspected the commencement of work said the project will stimulate economic activities in the 14 states it traverses, adding that the laying of rail tracks may reach the Enugu State capital by September 2022.

He said that the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri line will be delivered before the end of the Buhari regime.

However, Sambo, while presenting updates,  said the project had hit a financial brick wall as the funds to drive its completion are not forthcoming.

He said “Now, the eastern line is the line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri. It has been segmented in such a way that the first part of the work covers Port Harcourt to Enugu.

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“Now, the truth of the matter is that if there was a promise to deliver this line before the end of this administration, this promise is no longer feasible because, when the contract was approved, it was approved on the premise that 85 percent will be funded through a foreign loan, while 15 percent will be the counterpart funding for the national budget.

“Since that approval, we have not been able to obtain that 85 percent foreign loans for this project. We have been funding it through the national budget on the bases of the 15 percent counterpart funding of the federal government. And therefore, funding has been a major challenge for this project.”

Meanwhile, Kanyi Daily reported that President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday launched a portal for citizens to monitor projects executed by the government.

The portal, which is tagged “Eyemark”, was unveiled by Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja before the commencement of the weekly federal executive council (FEC) meeting.

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