The Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved the sum of N1.3 billion for design and consultancy services for six standard railway lines across the country.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar and Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga shortly after the FEC meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar while explaining the details of the contracts, said the six lots totaling 4,430km were in addition to seven earlier lots approved by the council last year.
Umar said the contracts were parts of the 35 years strategic vision of the Federal Government for the rail sector. He said the scope of work would Include detailed studies, detailed surveys and designs, identification of potential train stations and Environmental Impact Assessment among others.
According to him, the contracts for the seven corridors earlier awarded have been completed.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga told the council that the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation has recognised the development efforts of Nigeria and Ethiopia.
Aganga quoted UNIDO as saying that the two countries showed the strongest and highest potential for industrial development in Africa. With that recognition, the minister said the organisation identified with the transformation efforts in Nigeria and endorsed the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan.
He also said that UNIDO had decided to open an investment and development office in Nigeria to fastback industrial development. He said the organisation has only eight of such offices in the world while Nigeria will be hosting the first and the only one in Africa. “What this means to us is that the world is acknowledging the efforts of this administration in transforming the economy,” Aganga said The railway lines are expected coverer Kano-Dayi-Katsina-Jibiya rail line; Ilela-Sokoto-Jega-Yauti-Makera rail line; Aba-Ikot Ekpene-Ibiono-Itu(spur line to Uyo)-Odupkani-Calabar rail line; Kano-Nguru-Gashua-Damaturu/Gamborun-Ngala rail line; Calabar-Ikom-Obudu-Ogoja-Katsina Ala-Wukari-Jalingo-Yola-Maiduguri; as well as Port Harcourt-Aba-Umuahia-Enugu-Makurdi-Lafia-Jos-Bauchi-Gombe-Biu-Maiduguri rail line.