Posted by News Express | 5 November 2016 | 3,632 times
The Nigerian Government is set to begin the rehabilitation of the Lagos-Ibadan and Kano-Kaduna rail lines.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Mr Sabiu Zakari, says the fund for the projects would be provided by the China Exim Bank.
Mr Zakari also announced that the government had opened talks with china railway company to concession the Warri-Ajaokuta rail line.
From bad road to epileptic power supply, Nigeria is grappling with huge infrastructure deficit in the face of the economic recession, a situation that has prompted the government into seeking new ways of funding the development of these infrastructures.
At a forum in Abuja on Friday government officials met with the private sector as well as officials of the African Development Bank to share knowledge on how the government could take advantage of public-private partnerships to source for fund for the nation’s infrastructure.
The three key focus of the present administration is security, economy and infrastructure development. Government is hoping to get appropriate response from the private sector to achieve its target.
Train services had plummeted in Nigeria, due to poor maintenance of the facilities by the government. It is largely owned and sustained by the government, but the economic situation has forced the government to consider concessioning some of the rail lines.
In Borno a once flourishing railway terminal of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, now lies in ruins after years of closure.
Residents few days ago recounted the good old days when trains were the backbone of their local economy.
The railway terminal and the abandoned trains have now been overgrown by grasses while internally displaced persons occupy some parts.
A middle aged widow of a retired railway worker says life was a lot easier in the days when the railway transport was functional.
The railway transportation came with several business opportunities for locals and provided able bodied young men with gainful employment culminating into the creation of a railway village.
It was a major means of transportation in Nigeria before poor maintenance culture and lack of attention to the sector brought it to an almost comatose situation. (Channels TV)
•Photo shows work in progress on a rail project.
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