Transportation Minister, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, says the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Eastern rail line rehabilitation has been suspended due to insecurity and vandalism of railway property along the corridor.
Sambo stated this during the inspection of the transportation infrastructure in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The minister said the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCEC), the contractor handling the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the project, had complained of attacks on its workers along the Abia State axis.
Mu’azu Jaji Sambo urged the media and the judiciary to collaborate with the Ministry to ensure that these economic saboteurs are not only exposed but prosecuted and sentenced speedily to serve as a deterrent to others.
On the issue that funds meant for the rail line is diverted to other projects, the Minister said it was fake news as the progress made so far is from the 15 per cent of the counterpart funding by Nigeria while the 85 per cent to be provided by foreign partners is still under negotiation.
Recalls that in 2020, the federal executive council (FEC) approved the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line valued at $3 billion.
The rail line is expected to have new branches from Port Harcourt to Bonny and from Port Harcourt to Owerri.