By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council, FEC, on Wednesday approved the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Eastern Narrow Gauge railway project for the cost of $3.02 billion.
Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the virtual FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said FEC also approved the construction of a deep seaport at Bonny and a railway industrial park in Port Harcourt.
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He said that the deep seaport and the rail industrial park will be funded through the Public, Private Partnership, PPP, arrangement and at no cost to the federal government, adding that the PPP-funded would be executed at $241.2 million (industrial park) and $461.9 million (Bonny deep seaport) respectively.
According to him, “The Federal Executive Council FEC has approved the award of contracts for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri eastern narrow-gauge railway, with new branch lines and trans-shipment facilities.
“They’ve also approved the construction of a new deep seaport in Bonny, under PPP and the construction of a railway industrial park in Port Harcourt.
“The railway line will be at the cost of $3,020,279,549. The industrial park, which is under PPP, at no cost to the federal government, will cost $241,154,389.31. The Bonny deep seaport will cost $461,924,369, at no cost to the federal government.
“The Port Harcourt to Maiduguri narrow gauge railway will have new branch lines: from Port Harcourt to Bonny and from Port Harcourt to Owerri are new lines. There’s another connecting to narrow gauge to standard gauge at Kafanchan. There is a branch line from Gombe or before Maiduguri to Damaturu and Gashau. That’s what has been approved.”