The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, says if the owners of the Lekki Deep Sea Poet are willing to invest in the $11.5bn Lagos to Calabar coastal rail project, the line can be diverted to their facility through Epe.
He said this Sunday while inspecting construction work at the facility.
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The coastal rail project cutting through the Lagos, Benin, Port Harcourt, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, with spur to Abia, terminates at Calabar.
The minister said this design could be altered to connect Wow and Lekki Free Trade Zone directly with private investments.
“The advice I could give is if they (Lekki Deep Seaport owners) want to invest, they can invest in rail and then the government will either do tax reduction or do something to help them. If we get the $11.1bn as it is, we’d probably have to divert the rail, because Lagos-Calabar actually goes into Lagos, we can divert it to come through to Epe and too Lekki here.
“I imagined that the Lagos-Calabar rail would start from here (Lekki), that was my imagination. But the Lagos-Calabar is $11.1bn. As Minister of Transport, I’ll start from Benin-Port Harcourt then to Calabar; it’s only when we‘ve finished that I’ll start to think of how to come from Benin-Lagos because there’s already a rail from Lagos to Kano.
“For me what makes it of essence is there are other sea ports around Warri, Calabar, Port Harcourt that need to be fed with rail too, just like we fed Tincan and Apapa.”