He recently revealed this in a statement signed by Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni, Media Assistant to the Minister, and Nigerians have been reacting.
According to him, standard gauge lines should cost about $11-14billion to construct compared to narrow gauge which cost about $3.2 billion, and getting the funds within the limited time was not feasible because of other projects awaiting funding.
He added that the Eastern Rail corridor would be made up of both the narrow and standard gauge, and the government is only starting off the rehabilitation of the narrow gauge owing to paucity of funds.
His words, “The standard gauge line is between $11-14billion to construct on the Eastern flag. The standard gauge as designed in Nigeria is 150km design speed, operational speed is 120km. What is the difference between 120km and 100km? The narrow gauge is about $3.2billion dollars at 100km per hour.”
“The standard gauge which is at $11 to $14billion is 120km per hour, so if you take off with the standard gauge, say to Damaturu, you will arrive 20minute before me that used the narrow gauge.”
“The narrow gauge is cheaper at $3.2billion against the $11 to 14billion to construct the standard gauge. Why we did not get the approval for the narrow gauge on time was because the President insisted on the standard gauge from Port Harcourt-Maiduguri. My argument was if I can achieve the same length of rail with $3.2 billion dollars, why not take that first until we get money for the standard gauge?”
“This made him approve the standard gauge as designed but until we get the money because if we continue to wait until we get the $11bn to 14billion dollars, we may not be able to construct the Eastern flag before we leave government.”
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