Ministry of Transport secures 52 billion naira, seeks more funds for railways
The Transport Minister Mu’azu Sambo revealed that of the 147 billion naira budgeted for the ministry, 52 billion naira, or 35 percent, has been released.
He said 38 billion naira had been used as of October 25, 2022.
A statement quoting Sambo reportedly made the disclosure in Abuja on Thursday when presenting a N92.6 billion budget to the Joint Senate-House of Representatives Committee on Land and Maritime Transport for the ministry and its agencies for the 2023 financial year.
He also briefed lawmakers that the ministry, with the support of the committee, was implementing the Nigerian Railways Modernization Project and gradually expanding the railway network through annual budget appropriations, following difficulties in securing counterpart funding. .
Sambo further stated that the implementation of the Kaduna-Kano, Port Harcourt-Maidugiri and Kano-Maradi segments of the railway upgrade is underway with matching funding from the federal government in the 2022 allotment, while expecting the Federal Ministry of Finance to conclude the negotiations of the loans with the infrastructure development financing institutions of Chinese, Portuguese and Turkish origin to implement the projects.
“Let me also report that the Lagos – Ibadan section of the Lagos – Kano and Itakpe – Warrii railway project is fully operational and receiving patronage from the general public. To bring about the practical completion of these projects, some aspects of the works, including the construction of upper decks, connection to the national grid and other ancillary provisions must be completed, therefore, adequate funds must be provided in the 2023 budget to facilitate the practical realization of the projects.
“While recording the successes achieved in the railway sub-sector, let me also mention the sad event of the Abuja – Kaduna Rail incident. With the release of the abductees, the ministry plans to start operating on the line, but not without taking the necessary precautions by installing the necessary security gadgets to monitor the line and prevent a reappearance.
Speaking on the National Freight Offices in Iiela, Sambo said, “We have made significant progress in completing the ongoing National Freight Offices in Iiela Jibiya and Idiroko in addition to other land transport projects and with your support, capturing all these projects and programs as proposed before you in the 2023 budget proposal will further help us achieve the desired goals”
Earlier, the Chairman of the National Assembly Committee on Land and Sea, Danjuma Goje, expressed his dismay that the budget was not implemented within the budget year despite the rapid approval of The national assembly.
“You see, the National Assembly was able to get budgets approved within the budget circle for three years. We were able to approve these budgets at the end of December. But surprisingly, the execution of the budget does not correspond to the urgency with which we attach importance to approving these budgets.