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FG budgets N33.1bn for railway projects

To build Lekki-Ijebu Ode, Badagry-Apapa rails   The federal government in the 2024 budget made a provision of N33.1bn for various railway projects across the…

  • To build Lekki-Ijebu Ode, Badagry-Apapa rails

 

The federal government in the 2024 budget made a provision of N33.1bn for various railway projects across the country.

Daily Trust however reports that this was coming despite having a backlog of railway projects across the country which has stalled over lack of funding.

The N33.1bn which is contained in the 2024 budget of the Ministry of Transportation covers several projects as listed in the budget document ERGP 13177707.

The items included completion of Abuja-Kaduna; completion of Lagos-Ibadan and its associated additional works; rehabilitation of Itakpe-Ajaokuta rail line and construction of 12 nos station building and tracks laying works at railway ancillary facilities area, Agbor; completion of addendum 2a and railway ancillary facilities area, Agbor.

Other projects include the design, manufacture, supply, and installation of rolling stock, supply of spare parts and maintenance equipment for the ongoing railway modernization project; installation of signal and telecommunication system on the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri railway line; installation of acoustal sensing security surveillance system for the Abuja (Idu)-Kaduna railway system and completion of feasibility studies for new standard gauge rail line including Kano-Dayi-Kastina-Jibiya including realignment to Dambata-Kazaure-Kastina-Jibiya-Maradi in Niger Republic; completion of feasibility studies for new standard gauge rail line: Kano-Nguru-Gusau.

But the N33bn is like a drop in the ocean amidst the backlog of existing projects; some of which have not even taken off at all.

The projects worth over $21.3bn (about N16 trillion) across the country are being stalled due to lack of funding, findings by Daily Trust have revealed.

The projects include the Ibadan-Kano Standard Gauge Railway ($5.3bn); N11.17bn Lagos-Calabar coastal railway project; the $3.02bn rehabilitation project for the Eastern Line (Port Harcourt-Maiduguri) and the $1.9bn Kano-Maradi Railway project.

All the projects were incorporated in the 25-year railway roadmap unveiled during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo which expires in 2025.

The $11.17bn Lagos-Calabar coastal railway project which had been in the pipeline for almost two decades was in 2021 approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) during the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

But our correspondent learnt that most of the projects have been stalled as China has yet to approve fresh loans for the railway projects.

Only the Kaduna-Kano line which is a section of the Lagos-Kano Standard gauge is being funded by budgetary provision and has only reached about 23 per cent.

While several projects were still pending, the federal government made provision of another N1bn ($1.2m) for new projects including Lekki – Ijebu Ode Rail & Coastal Rail Lekki – Apapa/Tin-Can; Badagry – Apapa/Tin-Can as well as another provision of N1.5bn for railway modernisation.

However, under its separate budget, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) plans to spend N1.5bn for the procurement and rehabilitation of locomotives and rolling stock for the standard gauge while it was allocated another N2.7bn for procurement/rehabilitation of rolling stock (narrow gauge).

In addition, there was the rehabilitation of a narrow gauge track from Minna to Barrow with an extension to the Baro River Port.

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