The Federal Government on Wednesday said it will not be able to complete the narrow-gauge eastern railway corridor before the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), leaves office in May 2023.
It explained that the project had been stalled by the unavailability of the foreign loans required to fund it.
“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 project,” the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, told State House Correspondents at the end of this week’s Federal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The PUNCH reports that in April 2022, the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation commenced construction of the 2044.1km Port Harcourt-Maiduguri narrow gauge railway project.
The Minister of Transportation at the time, Rotimi Amaechi, who inspected the commencement of work, said the project would stimulate economic activities in the 14 states including five south-eastern states.
Amaechi added that the laying of rail tracks may get to the Enugu State capital by September 2022, projecting that the project would be completed before Buhari leaves office in May 2023.
But while inspecting the progress of work in September, Sambo disclosed that the contractor in charge of the project, China Civil Engineering and Construction Company complained of incessant attacks on its workers around the Abia State axis of the rail corridor.