The Federal Government has disclosed plans to build two deep seaports in Bonny and Warri at the cost of $16 billion.
This is even as it assured that between now and December, it would bring in more coaches and locomotives to boost rail transportation across the country.
Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi disclosed this to State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja yesterday, after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said the necessary approvals for the seaports had been given.
“There are approvals for our sector but we have to look for the money because the money is not just there. We need about $16 billion dollars and we can’t just pluck that from the sky. We will try and see if we can get Public Private Partnership (PPP), especially as it pertains to the seaports. There are two deep seaports that were approved- the Bonny and Warri deep seaports. As for the Port Harcourt railway industrial park, we should also be able to get that done through PPP eventhough I doubt if we will be able to get railway as PPP because it is quite expensive,” he explained.
Amaechi also said there were plans to dredge the Calabar seaport through Public Private Partnership (PPP).
He stated that the problem of gridlock on the road leading to Apapa port in Lagos would be over by December.
“In terms of the narrow gauge, if not for a hitch, we would have commenced trucking cargo form Apapa seaport to Ebute-Metta-Lagos and take away the challenges we are having with that Apapa grid and bad road. That will happen before December,” he said.
On the new coaches, Amaechi said a total of 10 locomotives were being expected for Kaduna/Abuja and another seven for the Itakpe/Warri axis which is expected to be ready by next June.
“The President sleeps and wakes up thinking about our railways. Therefore, I must always see him and tell him how far we have gone. Once he hears the progress that is being made, he feels happy. He is also very pleased with what we have done in terms of the narrow gauge. Between now and December, we are bringing in more locomotives, coaches and wagons, to ensure efficiency in the narrow gauge. We are expecting 10 for Kaduna-Abuja axis and another seven, which will hopefully go to Itakpe-Warii because we believe that by June, that axis should also come alive,” he disclosed.