FG opens talks with investors on Lagos-Calabar rail


The Federal Government has commenced discussions with a new investor that will share the scope of work with the franchise holders, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, to facilitate the delivery of the coastal rail line from Lagos to Calabar

The Minister of Transportation, Muazu Jaji Sambo, disclosed this on Thursday while fielding questions from newsmen during the three-day ministerial seminar organised by the Ministry of Transportation in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

He said that the project was conceived in 2014 on the basis of 85 per cent funding from the company and 15 per cent Nigeria counterpart contributions, noting that the company had not been able to provide the required funding to date.

The Minister, who disclosed that the development had affected the project, said however that the ministry had identified and commenced talks with another investor on the basis of sharing the scope of work with the franchise  holders, CCECC

He said, “The project as you know was awarded in 2014 on the basis of 85 per cent funding from foreign facilities and 15  per cent Nigeria counterpart funding. In other words, the contractor is supposed to provide 85 per cent foreign loan while Nigeria will provide  15 per cent counterpart funding.

“ The contractor, CCECC, unfortunately, has not been able to provide that 85% funding to date.

“And that has affected the project. But as it is, the ministry has identified a company, an investor that is willing to fund the project and we are in talks with that company on the basis of sharing the scope of work between them and and the company that the franchise, that is CCECC.”

While addressing participants at the retreat, Sambo noted that transportation sector had contributed to the socio-economic needs of Nigerians and promoted the overall sustainable development of the nation, but more would be done in closing the yawning infrastructural gap.

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Sambo explained that the infrastructural gaps and other challenges necessitated

the development of  National Development Plans (Medium-Term Development Plans 2021-2025 and a long-term plan known as the Nigeria Agenda 2050) to invest massively in infrastructure.

He said such investments would ensure macroeconomic stability, enhance the investment environment, improve living conditions, and implement climate change mitigation.

 He disclosed that this would generate 21 million full-time jobs and lift 35 million people out of poverty by 2025 – and  set  the stage for achieving the government’s commitment of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.

He said the ministry had  domesticated the implementation of the National Development Plan 2021-2025, through  the Transport Sector Medium Term Development Plan (MTDP) 2021-2025 Policy Document, aimed at accelerating the growth of the transportation sector in the country .

The Minister frowned at infighting and unnecessary quarrel among boards and agencies within the transportation sector and called for cooperation, hoping that at the end of the retreat, the staff would have a new mindset to implement policies of the ministry.

“I will not end this speech without calling your attention to two salient matters that would aid us in our quest for progress and development and these are: Harmonious working relationship within our governing boards with utmost respect for delegated authorities and responsibilities.”


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