By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA- The federal government has committed a total of N71. 15 billion for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri and Ibadan-Kano railway modernization projects in the 2021 budget proposal.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Thursday presented the 2021 appropriation bill of N13.08 trillion to a joint session of the National Assembly in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
A breakdown of the appropriation bill by the Budget Office of the Federation revealed that the over N71 billion earmarked for the mega project also covers the completion of the Abuja/Kaduna railway line as well as the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri rail track and structures. Included also are the installation of the signal andtelecoms system on the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri corridor as well as the construction of the Port-Harcourt Industrial park.
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The 1,657 km Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri eastern narrow gauge rail line will be completed with new branch lines- from Port Harcourt to Bonny and Port- Harcourt to Owerri.
Similarly, the modernization of the Lagos-Ibadan rail project is estimated to cost government the sum of N128.2 million
In line with his pledge to prioritize capital expenditure over re-current, President Buhari in the 2021 appropriation bill proposed a capital expenditure of N205.1 billion for the Federal Ministry of Transportation, while overhead cost is N358.80 million.
The Nigerian Railway Corporation will subject to the approval of the National Assembly spend a total of N33 billion next year, made up of N23.85 billion (capital) and N105.4 million for overhead expenditures.