The Federal Government has approved the construction of a new seaport in Warri, Delta State at the cost of USD3.9 billion, says Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
He, however, did not disclose the essence and details of the approval considering that there is an existing seaport, which is largely underutilized, in the state.
Speaking n Abuja on Tuesday, Amaechi said that the government also approved the linking of Abuja to Itakpe, Itakpe to Warri and from Warri rail to the proposed seaport.
“The President awarded the contract for Abuja to Warri, Abuja to Itakpe, then to Warri. We are building a new seaport in Warri, the cabinet approved it last week, that is about 3.9 billion dollars,” he said.
He, however, said that about USD45 billion was needed to complete rail development in the country.
He said that once Lagos-Kano, Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, Lagos-Calabar and Abuja-Warri rail lines were constructed, the rail would have covered the country.
According to him, the government has not spent over 3 billion dollars so far on all the ongoing projects.
“The Lagos-Ibadan will cost about 1.6 billion dollars, that doesn’t include the extra cost of things we didn’t prepare for or see in the evaluation; Abuja-Kaduna was constructed with about a billion dollars.
“We also paid 500 million dollars to buy locomotives and rolling stocks for Lagos-Ibadan, I can’t remember how much we spent buying rolling stocks for Kaduna-Abuja, that is what we have spent so far.
“So all the noise that you hear people saying we have spent 8 points something billion dollars is not true. I don’t think we have spent up to three billion dollars so far. Railway is capital intensive, a trillion naira is about 2.7 billion dollars.
“And that is for 200km of railway if you plan to do Lagos-Ibadan and you are looking at 8.7billion dollars that is between 3 and 4 trillion Naira. That is why I said we will need about 35 to 45 billion dollars.
“To be able to do Lagos-Kano, Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, Lagos-Calabar and Abuja-Warri, once we do this four tracks, we have covered the country and we have solved the problems of transportation to a great extent,” he said.