Nigerian Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said the plan by the Nigerian government to connect major cities with rail way may be far from being a reality.
He said the country needs an investment of about $40bn, representing about N12.24trn at the exchange rate of N306/$1).
In other words, the government needs about 150 percent of the 2019 budget estimate.
Amaechi disclosed this over the weekend in Ibadan, Oyo state during his routine inspection of the 156km Lagos to Ibadan double gauge rail project under construction.
The former governor of Rivers State called on private investors to invest in the project.
He, however, urged Nigerians to be patient until these challenges were overcome.
“I tell Nigerians, everybody has to be patient because we need between $36 to $40bn to be able to do that connectivity,” he said.
The inspection began from Lagos and ended in Ibadan at the site of the Nigeria’s Shippers Council supported dry port Ibadan.
On the lingering coastal rail he explained “we have not gotten money. We are even still looking for money for Lagos to Kano.
”I come from South-South and I am emotionally attached to that project but it is unfortunate that we have not gotten money. It was awarded under President Jonathan and President Obasanjo. The directive of the President is that we should do everything possible to get the inter-connectivity of the tracks.’’
On the entourage was a delegation from the Ghanaian transport ministry led by the minister, the senate committee on land transport and the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council, Mr. Hassan Bello.