The Federal Executive Council has approved $11.17bn for the Lagos – Calabar coastal rail line.

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The decision was taken at the weekly meeting of the council presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who made the disclosure on behalf of his counterpart in the transportation ministry, Rotimi Amaechi, revealed that the council accepted two memos to expand and consolidate on the ongoing rail projects.

Mohammed said, “The first one actually has to do with the Kano-Jibia rail and then the other one has to do with the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri route.

“Actually, what was approved there today was funding to ensure that work starts immediately on those two routes. Another memo that was approved today was the ratification of the President’s approval for the award of the contract for the Lagos-Calabar coastal standard gauge rail.

“You’ll remember that this is a very old project which we inherited. Under the former administration, an approval was given, but nothing was done. Today, the council has given approval to commence the Lagos-Calabar coastal route.

He noted that the route was critical because, after the Lagos-Kano route, the Lagos-Calabar coastal route would link all coastal cities in Nigeria.

He said the proposed route alignment would run from Lagos to Shagamu, Shagamu to Ijebu-Ode, Ijebu-Ode to Ore, Ore to Benin City, Benin to Sapele, Sapele to Warri, Warri to Yenagoa, Yenagoa to Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt to Aba, Aba to Uyo, Uyo to Calabar, Calabar to Akamkpa to Ikom, to Obudu Ranch; with a branch line from Benin City to Asaba, Onitsha Bridge and then Port Harcourt to Onne Deep Seaport.

He also disclosed that the project would cost $11.17bn.

“This particular project is very important, especially for our coastal economy. The cost of the project is $11,174,769,721.74 and we have six years for the completion of this project,” he said.

The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, also briefed the press saying that the Council approved two memos.

He said, “The first one dealt with ratification of convention Nigeria had already acceded to.

“The second memo also dealt with the award of contract for the building of two blocks of social science complexes at Adamawa State University in Mubi for a total sum of N1.1bn which was a TETFUND allocation that emerged from the year 2017 through 2021.”

Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, said the council approved two projects from the Federal Ministry of Power.

“One is the construction of two by 60 MVA 132 33 substation at Gagarawa, Jigawa State in favour of Messrs Power Control and Appliances Limited in the sum of N454.21m.”

He added that the second one was for the award of the contract for the engineering, procurement and construction of two by 30 MVA 132 33 substation at Bonny, Ibom, Akwa Ibom State in favour of Messrs YEMEC West Africa Limited in the sum of $6.2bn offshore plus N1.8bn onshore.