..Says Eastern rail line will generate over 20,000 jobs.
By Dirisu Yakubu
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said President Muhammadu Buhari’s major aim for investing in rail construction projects across the country is to create employment for Nigerian youths.
Amaechi, in a statement by his media, Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni, noted that ongoing projects would contribute to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP.
According to him, the Eastern rail line when fully operational will generate between 20,000 and 50,000 jobs aside businesses that will open up along the rail corridor.
“Let’s us look at the economic benefits. In the course of doing the visibility study of this project, I discovered that there are so many natural resources on that track. There is iron ore all over the North-East, there is Coal between Benue and Enugu.
“What this does is that it provides logistics for the movement of such natural resources or value addition. You have access to the sea through a cheap means of transportation.
“The minimum I expect they can employ is between 20,000 and 50,000 workers. Imagine how many number of workers will be employed at the industrial park at the seaport.
“The essence of the President’s investment in the project is to create employment, he hopes that we are able to grow the economy of Nigeria through transportation, create employment in the cause of these infrastructure.
“And at the end of the construction, we expect those who do businesses in Nigeria to be able to acquire land and site industries along the rail corridor. ”
Amaechi, however, said that the most significant rail projects were the Lagos-Kano rail line because it moves 30 million tonnes of cargo per year and the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri which is expected to move about 11million tonnes of cargo when completed.
Speaking on complaints, on the fare for Lagos-Ibadan rail corridor, Amaechi stated that rail services is not meant for passengers alone but cargoes as well.
He however, said that the ministry was working on getting funding for Lagos-Calabar, which will commence within the shortest possible time.