The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has said the federal government requires $45 billion to fix the country’s transportation infrastructure, adding that rail infrastructure is a capital intensive sector.
Explaining the amount spent so far on rail infrastructure in the country during an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily yesterday, the minister revealed that this figure would be needed to solve the country’s “problem of transportation to a great extent.”
He said the sector is capital-intensive, adding that huge funds would be needed to construct more railroads and acquire coaches.
He said: “It is capital intensive. N1trillion is about $2.7 billion and that is just about 200 kilometres of the railway. So, if you plan to do Lagos-Ibadan and you are looking at about $8.7 billion – this will be between N3 trillion and N4 trillion. How much is the budget of the country?
“That is why I said we need about $35 to $45 billion to be able to do Lagos-Kano, Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, Lagos-Calabar, and Abuja-Warri. Once you do these four tracks, you have covered the country, and you have solved the problem of transportation to a great extent.”
Amaechi also gave a breakdown of the expenses incurred so far on rail construction most especially the Lagos-Ibadan railroad.
According to him, the federal government is making efforts to acquire coaches and locomotives for the Lagos-Ibadan railroad.
He said: “Lagos-Ibadan Railroad will cost about $1.6 billion. This does not include the extra cost of things we did not prepare for. The Kaduna-Abuja construction will cost about $1billion.
“We have paid about $500 million to buy locomotives for Lagos-Ibadan. So that’s what we’ve so far spent.”
Speaking on his political fight with the Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Nyesom Wike, the minister said he is not at war with the Rivers State governor.
He said he is only inconvenient with the level of insecurity in the state.
“There is no war going on between Wike and me. It is like my friend Akpabio, when we met the other day, I said we are not quarreling.
“What is going on between Wike and me is the fact that he wants to run a second term. The fact is that he ran the first term in which people were killed. Today, he is accusing the army and not the police because they refused to take bribe from him.”
The former governor said during his administration as the state governor, he investigated and ensured the arrest of the perpetrators of crime.