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Buhari govt approves $5.3bn for construction of rail from Ibadan to Kano



The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, on Thursday, said
that the Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki
would personally be in charge of all maritime agencies.

Amaechi made this known in Lagos at the 3rd Maritime Stakeholders’ Interactive Forum he hosted along with Saraki.

He said that while Saraki was taking care of the maritime agencies, he would be focusing on the railway sector, NAN reports.

Amaechi decried the delay in the take-off of the 195 million dollars
maritime security contract awarded to an Israeli firm, HSLI.

He said that the contractor had been coming up with excuses for the delay.

“This is not good enough because we are losing man hours, human beings and business to insecurity on our waters,” he said.

On the railways, Amaechi said that government had approved 5.3
billion dollars for the construction of rail from Ibadan to Kano and was
working towards connecting the rail to the seaport between December and
January next year.

He also said that there would be a collaboration between the Nigerian
Ports Authority and the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) to
achieve efficiency, while more vessels would be bought.

On security, he said that they would be working with the army, navy and other security agencies.

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He said that 10 per cent of issues on the waterways had to do with recklessness.

The minister noted that in 2016, the President gave approval for
single window, as Nigeria was the only country in West Africa without

Amaechi said that before the end of 2020, the country would get a single window.

He said it was a facility that allowed parties involved in trade and
transport to lodge standardized information and documents with a single
entry point to fulfill all import, export, and transit-related
regulatory requirements.

Saraki, on her part, promised to work on issues associated with cadets having sea-time in Nigeria.

According to her, having chaired the Senate Committee on Marine
Transport for four years, she has .an idea of what to do, but will take
her time because of new issues like insecurity.

“We are going to look at the issues of cadets not getting sea-time.
We are also going to look at the issues of ship registry and cargo
tracking note.

“We want to know how many jobs the maritime sector will create,” she said.

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