Transport Ministry explores alternative funding for rail projects

Lawan Hamidu, Abuja

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi

The Nigerian Ministry of Transportation says it is exploring alternative funding source to finance various rail projects in the 2018 fiscal year.

This is to open up various parts of the country, reduce over dependence on budgetary allocation for infrastructure development as well as reduce pressure on the country’s roads.

The Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amechi made the disclosure during the budget defence of the Ministry before the House of Representatives’ Committee on Land Transport.

Mr. Amechi said that already negotiations are going on with private financiers to fund critical railway projects across the country and between Nigeria and some West African countries.

While soliciting for the support of the lawmakers in realizing government’s goals in the development of railway transportation system in the country, the Minister explained that the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology is improving on its infrastructure, increasing its research base and expanding its training drive to meet the manpower deficit in the sector.

Out of about N152.6bn appropriated for the land transport sector in 2017, N68.78bn was released, while about N21bn was expended, representing about 45% release and 32% utilization.