The Federal Ministry of Transportation, comprising of Land Transport, Maritime and Aviation is set to execute N243, 746,507,321.00 capital projects in 2017.
In 2016, the total Capital budget of the Ministry was N171,652,299,451.00 out of whichN42,000,000,000.00 was released representing 24.5%.
According to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, the 2017 Budget is based on “strategic growth of the sector towards achieving a stronger economy for the Nation.”
He explained that the N120 Billion appropriated in 2016 for the counterpart funding for the Railway sector will be accessed immediately the loan agreement with China Exim Bank is completed.
Amaechi added: “This facility will energise the implementation of the 2017 Budget proposal on modernisation of railway project in the country. The segment 2 and 3 of the Lagos – Kano Rail project and first phase of the Coaster Railway line (Lagos – Calabar) with extension to Onne Deep Sea Port are all targeted within the year 2017.”
Addressing the joint House Committees on Aviation, Land Transport, Maritime Safety and Administration and Ports, Harbours and Waterways, the Minister explained that some vital Projects for the year 2016 considered ongoing are to be funded under the 2017 Budget.
He said: “These Projects include completion of the mainline and ancillary facilities with Electric Power Supply, Freight Yards in Idu and Rigasa, Locomotive Workshop, Rolling Stock Depot and Provision of operational facilities for the Abuja – Kaduna rail line, remobilisation and resuscitation of the Central rail line project (Itakpe – Ajaokuta – Warri).
“In order to boost the effectiveness of the rail transport in the country, the ministry is in the process of procuring additional Locomotives and Coaches to meet the rising demand of passengers on the Abuja –Kaduna rail line.
“In line with the Federal Government’s objective, the Ministry is committed to expand and build new lines for the Nigeria Railway Network, especially to link key industrial and economic centres with involvement and participation of foreign and domestic private sector investors.
“In furtherance with the Ministry’s efforts to implement Government policy on Transportation in Nigeria, it also relates with ECOWAS for compliance on international Protocols and Conventions endorsed by the country.
“The notable benefits of this are: the realisation of the Inter-State Road Transit (ISRT) Scheme and the establishment of National Freight Offices, both targeted at facilitating trade and transit in the sub-region. The ISRT scheme presently generates huge revenue and creates employment in countries Ghana and Gambia.”
Explaining further, the Minister who spoke on sundry issues affecting the sector said: “The Federal Ministry of Transportation is evolving a New Port Order with a clear legal and policy framework that emphasises efficiency and competitiveness of the Nigerian Ports vis-à-vis the other competing Ports in neighbouring countries of Benin, Togo and Ghana.
“The Aviation Sector of the ministry is specifically vested with the responsibility of formulating and managing policies and programmes on Aviation matters. As you are aware, considerable progress has been made on the improvement of Safety, Security and comfort of passengers in the air transport sector in line with international civil aviation organization (ICAO).
“However, in 2017, the emphasis of the present team of managers in the aviation sector is to focus on sustaining the infrastructural renewal at the airports by driving the remodelling projects to a logical conclusion. The bilateral/multilateral air services agreements would be pursued with greater vigour in 2017 to enhance the internally generated revenue of the sector.
“The ministry also wishes to ensure that the national carrier is established using suitable funding options. Efforts will be towards achieving a roadmap with the implementation and development of some key projects through public private partnership (PPP).
The projects include:
Infrastructural development through airport concession,
Establishment of national carrier,
Establishment of maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) facility,
Development of agro-allied cargo infrastructure, and
Establishment of aviation leasing company.
Establishment of aerospace university with the support of international civil aviation organization (ICAO).
Development of expatriate quota, policy on foreign exchange allocation to the aviation sector.
Establishment of search and rescue unit.
Credit: City Business News.