FG seeking alternative funding to modernise railways — Amaechi

FG seeking alternative funding to modernise railways — Amaechi

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, says the Federal Government is leveraging alternative funding mechanisms to rehabilitate old rail lines and modernise the rail system in line with its 25-year Strategy Vision.

Amaechi said this on Friday
during the 2021 Annual Public
Lecture organised by the
Department of Economics, Faculty
of Social Science, University of
Lagos, Akoka.

The theme of the lecture was
“Nigeria’s National Rail Transport
Project”.

According to him, the federal
government has recovered most of
the failed locations on the Narrow
Gauge corridor and also taking
precautions in the Environment
Impact Assessment (EIA) report on
the standard gauge corridors.

He said that all the new railway
projects contracts were embedded
with rich technology transfer
clauses, capacity building and
Conversational Skills Rating ( CSRs)
domestic appropriate knowledge
and skill.

The minister said that
establishment of rail projects was to
reduce cost of transportation and
boost economy, since economic
activity drives development in any
country.

He said that all the regions in
the country would have been
connected with rail transportation
but for lack of sustainable funding
plan, environmental issues,
degenerated infrastructure, theft of
railway materials and obsolete legal
framework.

According to him, the railway
project is affected by decline of
requisite railway professionals,
indiscriminate disposal of refuse
of railway right of way by citizens
among others.

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The minister then appealed to
community leaders and civil society
organisations to join in the fight
against vandalisation on railway
infrastructure across the country.
In his welcome speech,
Unilag Vice Chancellor, Prof.
Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said that
efficient transportation would
provide access to business and
competitiveness in the region.
Ogundipe was represented by
Prof. Oluwole Familoni, Deputy Vice
Chancellor (Academic).

“When transport systems are
efficient, they provide economic
and social opportunities and
benefits that result in positive
multiplier effects such as
better accessibility to market,
employment, and additional
investment.

“Availability of railway also plays
an important role in reducing
regional disparities and improving
the competitiveness of the region,
by facilitating trade movement of
labour, and economies of scale.
“In vast country like ours, where
the population are not only
scattered all over the country but
are also separated by desert, forest,
valley and mountains efficient,
reliable and cheap means of
transportation like modern railway
network are essential,” Ogundipe said.

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