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FEC approves N1.3bn for feasibility study of standard rail lines

By on July 18, 2014

Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved N1.3bn for a standard rail feasibility study on six rail lines.

The approval of the contractual sum was announced by the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, shortly after the weekly FEC meeting, while he was briefing State House Correspondents jointly with Transport Minister, Idris Umar, as well as the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga.

On his part, Umar told journalists how viable the project would be, and its economic gains in the selected rails corridors, which was part of the project contract.

Both rail stations and environmental impact in the selected rail corridors, were also part of the feasibility study.

According to the minister, the six rail lines will cover 4,430 kilometres, with six months completion period.

He listed the  corridors as Kano/ Dai/Jimbia an approximate distance of 354km; Ilela/Sokoto/Jega / Kontagora, 408km; Aba/ Ikot Ekpene/ Itu/ Uyo / Uduopkani/Calabr, covering a total distance of 340km; Kano/ Nguru/ Geshua/ Damaturu/ Maiduguri/ gamburu Ngala, covering 707 Km and Calabar/ Ikom/ Obudu/ Ogoja/ Katsina Ala/ Wukari/ Jalingo/Yola/ Maiduguri, 1669km.
There is also the rail line from Port harcourt/ Aba/ Umuahia/ Enugu/ Lafia/ Jos/ Bauchi/ Biu/ Maidiguri, 550km.

Disclosing further, the transport minister said seven corridors earlier awarded had been completed, while a contract for the construction of standard rail line would soon be awarded.

According to him, the preference for the routes, was to exploit the economic potentials of those area especially mining, petro -Chemicals, Solid minerals deposits, agriculture, access to airports and the nation’s state capitals.

“we want to ensure that within the next 25 years, government will put in more effort to ensure the development of areas through government funding and through public private partnership arrangements.

“The scope of work to be carried out by the consultants will include detailed studies for them to establish the viability of these projects, bring out the technical, economic and financial models to establish the viability of the project.

“They are also to provide a proposal for the alignment and connections of the urban and commercial settlements along the proposed routes.

“They are to carry out detailed surveys and design of the selected alignments to identify potential train stations and other rail base infrastructure to incorporate them in the design.

“Others include the environmental impact assessment and the identification of the rail stations, workshops and other rail base infrastructure along the route, including engineering design and the bill of engineering measurement as well as the tender document for the award of the contract in due course,” Umar said.

Also on his part, Aganga disclosed that two regional offices in both Nigeria and Ethiopia had been established by the United Nation’s Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). He said it will serve as catalyst to industrial growth.

“Through this action, UNIDO has not only associated itself with the unparalleled and rapid transformation taking place in Nigeria, but has clearly endorsed Nigeria’s industrial revolution plan.

“UNIDO has also established an investment and technology promotion office called ITPO in Nigeria to fast track Nigeria’s ability to attract industrial investment as well as gather support for the sector,” Aganga said.

According to the minister,  eight of such offices abound in the word, adding, “industrial development potentials of Africans informed the opening of the 2 offices by UNIDO.

“The  two countries were identified by UNIDO as countries with the highest potentials for industrial development,” the minister concluded.


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