The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said on Sunday the Federal Government was focusing on the development of the railway and seaport in a bid to drive the nation’s economy.
Amaechi stated this at the 15th Annual Kaleidoscope Global Business Conference hosted by the Consulate General of Nigeria in New York, United States.
He said: “Many Nigerians have asked why the construction of railways.
“At least 80 percent of the cargoes we have in Nigeria are mostly imported because the Nigerian economy was yet to generate enough production.
“However, the president is of the view that if we must produce, we must have the infrastructure that enables that production, hence the focus on transportation, power and works.
The minister said although the railway project had started before the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, the nation’s seaports were not included in the design.
He added that one of the first things the government did was to rework the plan and link the rail network to seaports across the country.
Amaechi added: “So, we started with the Apapa seaport. We are working there now and I believe by December, we should conclude the Lagos-Ibadan rail line extension into the port.
“We then added the Warri Seaport, the Calabar seaport and Tin Can Island. We are making sure that all of them include seaports.”
According to him, contract for the 386km rail line from Kano to Maradi in the Republic of Niger will be awarded on Wednesday.
He added contract award for the 1,500km eastern rail line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri would also be awarded by September 30.