By Olumide Ajayi
Nigeria’s minister of transportation,Rotimi Amaechi, has confirmed the federal government approval of $5.3 billion for the construction of Ibadan-Kano standard gauge rail line.
Speaking at the third maritime stakeholders interactive forum in Lagos on Thursday.
The Minister said: “We got approval to complete the $5.3bn Ibadan to Kano rail project. We have also applied for funding to commence coastal rail for the Port Harcourt to Warri segment,” he said.
Amaechi further added that the minister of state in the ministry, Gbemisola Saraki, will supervise the maritime sector, while he takes charge of the railway sector.
Saying “In my first term as minister, I completely abandoned the maritime sector to the heads of agencies. This time, that won’t be happening again,” he said.
“I have instructed that the Minister of State for Transportation should personally supervise the maritime agencies, while I just oversee what is happening.”
He also said he discussed issues affecting the maritime sector with President Muhammadu Buhari, and that by next year, ”the country will have a single window in the maritime sector”.
“There are two things I discussed with Mr. President that I will be focusing on in this second term as minister, and they are maritime security and the single window project,” Amaechi said.
“I have assured the government that by the end of 2020, we should have the single window at our maritime sector.
“On maritime security, I have told the Israeli firm HSLI that they are too slow. By now, they should have launched. I want to know the situation of things with the aspect of security on our maritime space.”