By Kasim Sumaina
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) Wednesday approved the award of contracts for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Port Harcourt – Maiduguri eastern narrow gauge railway, with new branch lines and trans-shipment facilities.
The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, gave the hint in Abuja when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the 18th virtual meeting of the FEC.
The meeting was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The minister revealed that the council approved the construction of a new deep seaport in Bonny under Private-Public- Partnership (PPP) programme and the construction of a railway industrial park in Port Harcourt.
According to him, “The Federal Executive Council today approved the award of contract for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Port Harcourt to Maiduguri Eastern Narrow Gauge Railway, with new branch lines and trans-shipment facilities.”
Amaechi added that FEC also approved the construction of a deep seaport in Bonny under PPP and construction of a railway industrial park in Port Harcourt.
He said: “The railway line will be at the cost of $3,020,279,549. The industrial park, which is under PPP, at no cost to the federal government, will cost $241,154,389.31.
“The Bonny deep seaport will cost $461,924,369, at no cost to the federal government.
“The Port Harcourt to Maiduguri narrow gauge railway will have new branch lines: from Port Harcourt to Bonny and from Port Harcourt to Owerri are new lines.
“There is another connecting to narrow gauge to standard gauge at Kafanchan.
“There is a branch line from Gombe or before Maiduguri to Damaturu and Gashua. That’s what has been approved.”