Following outcry by Nigerians over the plan of the Federal Government to link Nigerian railway to Maradi in Niger Republic, the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi has explained that the railway construction to Maradi was to link Lagos seaport to neighboring countries.
Amaechi who made the clarification yesterday in Abuja during the budget Defence meeting of House of Representatives Joint Committees on Land Transport, Maritime Safety and Administration, Ports Harbors and Water Ways and Aviation yesterday in Abuja said it was purely for economy purpose.
He noted that the move was to encourage business owners to use Nigerian seaport, because usually, they prefer to use seaport in other neighboring countries like Togo, Benin Republic, or Ghana, due to the ease of transporting goods and doing business, saying Nigeria is losing resources because of lack of connection between Nigeria and neighboring counties.
The Minister while defending the N215.1billion proposed for the 2018 capital budget noted that N182.2billion has been proposed for land Transport subsector, while the sum of N202.8million is for the Marine sector, N508million was proposed for overhead expenditure while N30billion was proposed for capital expenditure for the Aviation sector.
Highlights of the budget include completion of the ongoing Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri-Aladja Railway project, counterpart funding for financing Ibadan-Kano project and the Nigerian Coastal Line Lagos-Calabar Project to hopefully commence this year.