Port Harcourt-Maiduguri narrow gauge rail line no longer feasible – FG

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FG redirects Eastern rail to Abakiliki, Awka

The Federal Government on has said it would not be able to complete the Eastern corridor narrow-gauge Eastern railway corridor before the President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office in May 2023.

It said the foreign loans required to fund the project are no longer available.

The China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation commenced construction of the 2044.1km Port Harcourt-Maiduguri narrow gauge railway project.

It,however, stopped work over alleged insecurity.

But speaking on Wednesday,the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, said the project was no longer feasible.

“Now, the truth of the matter is that if there was a promise to deliver this line before the end of this administration, this promise is no longer feasible because…funding has been a major challenge for this projec,” he said.

According to him “Now, the eastern line is the line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri. It has been segmented in such a way that the first part of the work covers from Port Harcourt to Enugu.

“Now, the truth of the matter is that if there was a promise to deliver this line before the end of this administration, this promise is no longer feasible because, when the contract was approved, it was approved on the premise that 85 percent will be funded through foreign loan, while 15 percent will be the counterpart funding for the national budget.

“Since that approval, we have not been able to obtain that 85 percent foreign loans for this project. We have been funding it through the national budget on the bases of the 15 percent counterpart funding of the federal government. And therefore, funding has been a major challenge for this project.”