🔔NASS Drills Nigerian Minister over Contruction Of Rail Tract To Niger Republic.

…Mandates NPA To fashion out modalities to Increase Its Revenue Base

The National Assembly Joint Committee on Land and Marine Transport has faulted the proposal of the Minister of Transport, Chibuike Amaechi for constructing standard rail gauge for Kano-Maradi in Niger Republic while constructing narrow gauge in other parts of Nigeria.

The Chairman Senate Committee on Marine Transport, Senator Danjuma Goje and House Committee Chairman, Hon. Pat Azadu say its unacceptable to spend huge sums of money procured through foreign loans, to construct standard gauge to Maradi in Niger Republic as this may lead to marginalization of other regions of the country in the construction of rail lines.

This came to the fore when the minister of transportation
Rotimi Amechi appeared before a joint committee on marine Transport

Amaechi had in his submission said the Construction of the 284 kilometers Nigeria – Maradi (Niger Republic) standard guage rail line, is strategic as It will facilitate interconnectivity with countries in the West Africa sub region for the promotion of trade and commerce.

He added that the standard gauge will add to the economic growth of the two countries, of Niger and Nigeria

Both Chairmen queried the Minister for not constructing uniform rail lines across the country instead of giving Kano-Maradi modern standard rail line and constructing old narrow Rail line to other regions.

In response the minister of transportation said the Kano-Maradi rail, project was not based on sentiments but economic benefits for the country.

Adding that the difference between the Narrow gauge and Standard gauge is speed and that the country may not get the money to construct standard gauge across the country.

He said on completion of Kano-Maradi and Kano to Lagos railway, all national cargoes from Niger Republic, like uranium and gold, would be moved through Nigerian sea port from that corridor.

This, he said, would translate into huge economic benefits for Nigeria.

He also clarified that his ministry was yet to get money for Kano-Kaduna, Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railway projects.

Senate Also through its committee on marine transport has charged the Nigeria ports authority to come up with innovative ways to increase its revenue generation to help reduce borrowing by the federal government

The Lawmakers gave the charge when Nigeria ports Authority
appeared before the senate committee on marine transport, to defend the agency’s a budget estimate of N253.47 billion for the 2022 fiscal year

NPA in its submission said that the limitation of revenue available for spending in each fiscal year “ cost to revenue” ratio not exceeding fifty percent in compliance with the provisions of the finance act 2020 has serious down side risks to the authority’s 2022 budget projections in reconstruction and rehabilitation of old and dilapidated port infrastructure at apapa, tincan island and porthacourt ports

He added that as at the end of September 2021 the authority recorded a revenue generation of N256.28Bn as against the expected N214.65Bn (Approved estimate N286.20Bn)

NPA with a projected revenue generation of N350.18bn for 2022 fiscal year, was mandated by the lawmakers to further stretch it avenues of revenue generation