We told you the other day that Nigeria was heading to China for a loan to start Ibadan-Kaduna rail project.

Now, President Muhammad Buhari has also given the greenlight for another loan talks to start for Port Harcourt – Maiduguri rail project.  

The negotiations will see Nigeria borrowing $15 billion, about 5.4 trillion naira to construct standard gauge rail line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri.

The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Ameachi, made this known when he briefed State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday.

According to him, the president has also given the approval for negotiations of funds for the execution of Lagos – Calabar rail project to ensure its speedy completion.

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“Don’t forget that the Lagos-Calabar project is yet to start because of funds; the Port Harcourt – Maiduguri is yet to start because of funds, but the President has approved that we negotiate for funds.

“We are almost concluding negotiations for the Port Harcourt – Maiduguri. We are looking at the cost – is in the neighbourhood of between 14 billion and 15 billion dollars,” Amaechi said.

According to the minister, a lot of progress is being made in the area of revamping rail transportation network across the country.

He disclosed that laying of tracks on the Lagos-Ibadan route would commence next month and expressed the hope that the project would provide a lot of job opportunities to Nigerians.

“If the rain doesn’t start early we will start laying tracks on the Lagos-Ibadan route in April and hopefully we believe we can complete it in December or January and open it up for passengers and business and we expect about 6,000,000 tons of cargo out of the 30,000,000 tons of cargo that we have between Lagos and Kano,” he added.

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