The federal government has said that it can no longer meet up its goal of delivering the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri eastern rail line before the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo who disclosed this on Wednesday, December 21, blamed the delay in completing the project on failure in securing foreign loans.
“The question relating to the promise to deliver the eastern line narrow gauge before the end of this administration. Now, the eastern line is the line from Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, it has been segmented in such a way that the first part of the works covers from Port Harcourt to Enugu.
“Now, the truth of the matter is that if there was a promise to deliver this line before the end of this administration, this promise is no longer feasible because, when the contract was approved, it was approved on the premise that 85 percent will be funded through foreign loan, while 15 percent will be the counterpart funding for the national budget.
“Since that approval, we have not been able to obtain that 85 percent foreign loan for this project. We have been funding it through the national budget on the bases of the 15 percent counterpart funding of the federal government. And therefore, funding has been a major challenge for this project.”