President Muhammadu Buhari’s main purpose for investing in rail infrastructure across the country is to create employment for the youths, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has said.
Amaechi stated this in a statement on Sunday issued by his media assistant, Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni.
TheFactNigeria reports that the eastern rail line has the capacity of creating 20,000 and 50,000 jobs as well as businesses that will open up along the rail corridor.
Amaechi said all the ongoing projects would contribute to the GDP of the country because they make economic sense.
“Let us look at the economic benefits, in the course of doing the visibility of this project, that is when I discovered that there are so many natural resources on that track; iron ore all over the Northeast, 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; in the course of the construction of the rail line from here to Maiduguri is about 1000 kilometre.
“The minimum I expect they can employ is between 20,000 and 50,000 workers, if we must achieve it and at the conclusion of construction, imagine how many 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 course of this infrastructure,” said Amaechi.
The minister further said after the completion of the rail project, investors are expected to acquire land to site industries along the rail corridor.
Amaechi, however, said that the most significant rail projects were the Lagos-Kano because it moves 30 million tonnes of cargo per year and the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri which is expected to move about 11 million tonnes of cargo when completed.
Speaking on complaints, on the fare for Lagos-Ibadan rail corridor, Amaechi stated that rail services are not meant for passengers alone, that cargoes were most important.
He however said that the ministry was working on getting funding for Lagos-Calabar, which will commence once there is funds.
Amaechi further said that the target of the Ministry of Transportation is to complete the construction of all infrastructure that are of economic benefit to the country in the short and long term.