Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, says President Muhammadu Buhari is leveraging alternative funding mechanisms to rehabilitate old rail lines and modernise the rail system according to its 25-year strategic vision.
Mr 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, Mr Buhari’s regime has recovered most of the failed locations on the narrow gauge corridor and was also taking precautions in the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report on the standard gauge corridors.
He added 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 further explained that the establishment of rail projects was to reduce the cost of transportation and boost the economy since economic activity drives development in any country.
He added that the project would connect all the regions in the country 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 the decline of requisite railway professionals, indiscriminate disposal of the refuse on railway right of way by citizens, among others.
The minister then appealed to community leaders and civil society organisations to join in the fight against the vandalisation of railway infrastructure across the country.