By Ayodele Oluwafemi
The Federal Government has approved the sum of $5.3bn (N1.9 trillion) for the construction of the Ibadan to Kano standard gauge rail line project.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Thursday, at the third Maritime Stakeholders Interactive Forum.
Amaechi also disclosed that he had spoke with the President on the need to focus on maritime security and the single window project, which will be carried out next year.
According to him, “just yesterday, 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.”
He further added that he had handed over the supervision of the maritime agencies to the Minister of State for Transportation, in order to concentrate on the railway project.
In his words, “In my first term as minister, I completely abandoned the maritime sector to the heads of agencies. This time, that won’t be happening again.
“I have instructed that the Minister of State for Transportation should personally supervise the maritime agencies, while I just oversee 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.
“I have assured the government that by the end of 2020, we should have the single window at our maritime sector.
On maritime security, I have told the Israeli firm HSLI that they are too slow. By now, they should have launched. I want to know the situation of things with the aspect of security on our maritime space,” he said.