The Buhari administration on Wednesday approved the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Eastern Narrow Gauge at the cost of $3.02 billion.
The decision to embark on the project was one of the decisions taken at the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation told reporters that the council also approved the construction of a deep seaport at Bonny and a railway industrial park in Port Harcourt, both in Rivers State at the cost of $703.1m.
He, however, said the two projects would be at no cost to the Federal Government, saying they will be funded through Public-Private Partnership arrangement.
He said the industrial park would gulp $241.2m while the Bonny Deep Seaport will gulp $461.9m.
The minister explained, “The Federal Executive Council has approved the award of contracts for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri eastern narrow gauge railway, with new branch lines and trans-shipment facilities.
“The council also approved the construction of a new deep seaport in Bonny, under PPP and the construction of a railway industrial park in Port Harcourt.
“The railway line will be at the cost of $3,020,279,549. The industrial park, which is under PPP, at no cost to Federal Government, will cost $241,154,389.31. The Bonny deep seaport will cost $461,924,369, at no cost to the Federal Government.
“The Port Harcourt to Maiduguri narrow gauge railway will have new branch lines: from Port Harcourt to Bonny and from Port Harcourt to Owerri are new lines.
“There is another connecting narrow gauge to standard gauge at Kafanchan. There is a branch line from Gombe or before Maiduguri to Damaturu and Gashau.”
Still on PPP, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said the council approved the establishment of the Nigeria Correctional Service Shoe, Garment, and Leather Processing Factories in Aba, Abia State as well as Janguza, Kano State.
“The benefit, beside the employment of Nigerians, is the opportunity for training of the inmates of our correctional facilities in Janguza, Kano State and Aba in Abia State.
“The contract for full business skills compliance certificate is given to Messrs LG Investment Limited, a Nigerian company which is partnering with a Chinese company, Full Technology Incorporated from Beijing, China,” he said.