*Ameachi directs Saraki to oversee maritime sector
By Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The federal government has approved the $5.3 billion Ibadan to Kano standard guage rail project.
This was disclosed Thursday by the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, at the ongoing Third Maritime Stakeholders Interactive Forum in Lagos.
Amaechi in a statement by his media aide, Israel Ebeleme, said on Wednesday, “we got approval to complete the $5.3bn Ibadan to Kano rail project. We have also applied for funding to commence coastal rail for the Port-Harcourt to Warri segment.”
The statement said Amaechi had also directed the Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki, to take charge of all maritime agencies while he will be focusing on the railway sector.
He was quoted as saying: “In my first term as Minister, i completely abandoned the maritime sector to the heads of agencies.
“This term around, that won’t be happening again as I have instructed that the Honourable Minister of Transportation for State should personally supervise the maritime agencies, while I just oversight what is happening.
“There are two things I discussed with Mr. President that I will be focusing on in this second term as minister, and they are maritime security and the Single Window project.”
He noted that he had assured government that by the end of 2020, the nation will have the Single Window at “our maritime sector.”
On maritime security, he disclosed that he had told the Israeli firm HSLI that it was too slow, noting that by now, it should have launched.
He said, “I want to know the situation of things with the aspect of security on our maritime space.”