The Federal Government on Wednesday foreclosed the chances of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration delivering the $1.96bn narrow gauge Eastern railway corridor for the Southeast region before the end of the current administration

The minister of transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, who briefed State House journalists after the weekly meeting of the federal executive council (FEC) presided over by President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, identified the non-availability of funds as the reason the government cannot deliver the project.

The minister, while giving updates on the infrastructure projects, explained that financing the project has become an issue because the government cannot access loans from China.

He said the promise was no longer feasible because the contract was approved on the premise that 85 percent would be funded through foreign loan, while 15 percent would be the counterpart funding from the national budget.

President had two years ago performed the ground-breaking of the $1.96 billion rail line project, assuring that it would stimulate economic activities in the 14 states it covers.

The then minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, had said that the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri line would be delivered before the end of the tenure of the present administration.


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