Saturday, June 10, 2023

South-East benefitted most from Buhari regime’s infrastructure projects: Minister

The transport minister cited the second Niger bridge to justify the regime’s position that the South-East has benefited the most.

• November 7, 2022
Second Niger Bridge, transport minister Muazu Sambo

The Minister of Transportation, Muazu Sambo, says the South-East zone is not marginalised in the rail projects executed by President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime.

Mr Sambo stated this on Monday in Abuja while presenting the achievements of his ministry at the second edition of the PMB Administration Scorecard 2015-2023 organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture.

Reacting to a question on why the South-East was restricted only to narrow gauge rail lines, the minister said it was a wrong conclusion.

“There is no deliberate attempt whatsoever to marginalise the South-East, and if anything, that is the one part of the country that has benefited the most on PMB infrastructure projects.

“The narrow gauge you probably are referring to is the one that runs from Maiduguri all the way through Jos up to Port-Harcourt.

“If that is the one you are talking about, first of all, I will let you know that Maiduguri, Jos and several other cities the rail lines traversed are not in the southeast,” Mr Sambo said.

The minister said the second option was the narrow gauge contract “that my predecessor was considering in office, two options were open to the ministry.

“Either to rehabilitate the narrow gauge at a cost of about three billion dollars or to do a standard gauge at a cost of about 12 billion.

“We don’t have the money; we are going to borrow anyway. So, we thought whatever the standard gauge will give us, the narrow gauge will also give us.”

Mr Sambo added that looking at the pros and cons of the corridor, the narrow gauge would convey more cargo

He added that the only fundamental difference between the narrow gauge and the standard gauge was the speed.

Justifying his position that the South-East region benefited the most, the minister said the current administration constructed the second Niger bridge that had defied all the previous governments.

He said Mr Buhari would inaugurate the bridge before the end of the year. 


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