By Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni
Abuja, March 19, 2019
The Minister of Transportation, Chief Rotimi Amaechi, says he has done his best for the transport sector which has recorded a lot of success since he became minister in 2015.
Amaechi said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday, in Abuja.
He listed the achievements of the ministry to include; the improved rail sub-sector, safer Nigeria waterways; as well as the improvement of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in the area of regulation.
“I have done my best; there is nothing else I can do, I could not have done better than what I have done. There have been changes in the transport system.
“Now you can go to Kaduna from Abuja regularly and safely by rail; we are almost concluding the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge; and we are also renegotiating with a South African firm under a public private partnership to rehabilitate the narrow gauge lines.
“There is a lot of improvement in the waters. We contracted 495 million dollars to the Israelis to secure our waters for two years.
“That way, the cost of transporting goods into Nigeria will reduce and the delay time of cargoes at the seaport has started reducing.
“We are partnering with the Ministry of Works to work on the Lagos road that leads to the seaport; and that will tackle the traffic gridlock experienced on the axis.
“So far, we are satisfied that we have made our contributions,’’ the minister said.
Speaking on a likely cabinet change, Amaechi said the passion to work had been built into the system and that anyone could perform optimally in any sector.
He, however, said that before May, when the cabinet might be reshuffled, the ministry would push for the completion of the Lagos-Ibadan Rail; and also get approval for the Ibadan-Kano Rail.
“We need to get the government to approve the Ibadan-Kano and see how far the China Exim bank can fight and give us a loan; we also need to establish the University of Transportation in Daura.
“The Ibadan-Kano is currently one track because the China Exim Bank said it does not have money for double track.
“We are funding 15 per cent and they are funding 85 per cent.’’