Amaechi Saves Nigeria $800m As He Renegotiates Calabar Railway Contract
Nigeria’s minister of transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi on Friday announced that his ministry has renegotiated the Lagos-Calabar coastal railway contract with the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), reducing the sum from $11.917bn to $11.117bn.
The Nation reports that the minister made the disclosure at the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to commence work on the project. The Nigerian government will take care of 15 per cent of the counterpart funding of the entire project that is expected to be completed in two years.
Amaechi, said: “This contract was awarded by the President Goodluck Jonathan regime at $11.917 billion and when we took over as the Ministry of Transportation, we negotiated with CCECC and succeeded in reducing the contract sum from $11.917 billion to $11.117 billion.
“We are able to save $800million after negotiation with CCECC and that has to do with the fact that CCECC said prices of commodities like steel and other things have come down and there was need to bring down the prices of those things.
“So, our gathering is to sign same contract but with different price and to make it legal from the initial price to the negotiated price”, he said.
The minister also disclosed that the first segment of the project will commence as soon as discussion is finalised with China Exim Bank, adding that he expects the project to be completed in two years.
He said: “The first segment of the project, which is Calabar, Uyo, Aba and Port Harcourt and which would include all the seaports on the route will commence after discussion with China Exim Bank.
“Meanwhile, the entire contract covers Calabar, Uyo, Aba, Port Harcourt, Yenagoa, Otuoke, Ughelli, Warri, Sapele, Benin, Agbor, Asaba, Onitsha, Ore, Ijebu Ode, Sagamu and Lagos, and we believe that it will head to the Lagos Seaport to ensure that all the tracks terminate at the seaports we currently have in Nigeria”.
Commenting on the Abuja- Kaduna railway project, the minister said, “The test run has commenced but we have to hear from the president to know when the official ceremony will take place. We are not collecting money yet because we said we will collect money from the day the President flags it off.”
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