By Lucy Ogalue
Minister of transportation Rotimi Amaechi has urged Oyo State government to participate in putting infrastructures in place for the Inland Dry Port in Ibadan.
Amaechi, in a statement by his Media Assistant, Mrs Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni, on Friday, also appealed for access roads to service the dry port and the train station in Moniya or relinquish the project to another state on the route.
The minister made the call at a meeting with the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde in Ibadan on the sidelines of his visit to the Inland dry port site.
Amaechi outlined the issues hampering the construction of the port.
He explained that if the issues were not fixed now for construction to commence, the pressure on Ibadan will be too much to handle when movement of cargoes from Apapa to Ibadan begins.
“We are here to inspect the inland dry port and to make sure that Ibadan is ready before the commissioning of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line.
“There are issues of border, we had acquired the land, gotten C of O when the former governor was here, now they are denying us entry into the land. We had 90 acres of land, now we have access to only 40.
“In building the Inland Dry Port, part of the regulation is, when the government acquires land and gives to the Federal Government, the state government will provide infrastructure,” he said.
He said that if the infrastructure was converted to equity, then Kaduna would be the first to ask the government for equity, because they were the first to provide those infrastructures in Kaduna Dry Port.
” So many state governments have given us land to build inland dry ports and Oyo State will not be an exception. And, we don’t expect that Oyo State will ask us to convert those constructions into equity.
“If you don’t want to crash Ibadan town, you need to build a road to link Moniya to the old Ibadan/Oyo road.
“The reason is, the moment we start trucking cargoes from Lagos to Moniya, even if the dry port was not there, you’ll have pressure in your city if there is no road to get them to exit from there.
“So if you don’t want pressure on your city and on your infrastructure, because what we have today in Lagos, Apapa gridlock and others will transfer to this place; there will be gridlock here.
“If you don’t want the gridlock, we need to start preparing now, because in June the President will commission Lagos Ibadan rail line.
“And, when he commissions it, it’s our intention to begin to move cargoes on that track, and those cargoes that are going to Kano, Port Harcourt and other states may end up in Ibadan,” he said.
The minister noted that the construction of a link road would boost economic activities in the town just as it is experienced in Lagos.
He said that if Oyo State government was not ready, the project would be transferred to another state on the Lagos-Ibadan rail route.
“The Governor of Ogun State has put so much pressure on me, including asking me to build one or give them approval for one in Abeokuta.
“And, I said no, because if I give you approval for one, if it doesn’t kill the one in Ibadan, it will limit the ability of that one to function.
“They (Nigeria Shippers Council and the contractors) have suggested a way out. They want the borderline layout, the infrastructure, and the money for your equity participation.
“As soon as we get this, we go to cabinet, and as soon as we get cabinet approval, then construction will start.
“So if the Oyo state government is not interested, let’s know now, so we don’t have to go to cabinet, we’ll start fresh negotiations with another state on the line between Lagos and Ibadan.
“The one of Kaduna, they did not contribute and did not ask for equity, so they don’t have equity, but here if you want 15 per cent equity participation, then you must contribute.
“And, it means that you want to share in the profit and the running of the business, so it depends on what you want,” Amaechi added.
Responding, Makinde expressed the state’s interest to participate in the project and pleaded with the minister not to move the project to another state.
“Most of the challenges mentioned, there’s non that cannot be resolved. We have completely reconstructed the Moniya to Iseyin road.
“We want the dry port to be able and ready to handle the headache from Apapa. You have my commitment and that of the state government to participate in this.
“Please don’t negotiate with Ogun. We want you to partner with us on this and we’ll do everything to make sure the issues are resolved quickly.”(NAN)(NAN)
By Lucy Ogalue
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has urged Nigerians to disregard the publications on social media saying the administration had been printing money since 2015.
Amaechi in a statement by his Media assistant, Mrs Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni, said that the news should be disregarded as it was false.
On May 3, a publication stated that the Minister was interviewed in 2019 admitting that President Muhammadu Buhari had always ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to keep printing money since 2015.
According to Amaechi, he has never held any financial institution in the country and therefore did not qualify as an authority on issues that concern printing of money into the economy.
He, however, advised Nigerians who wanted information on printing of money to find out from the appropriate agency, not circulating a false statement to gain cheap publicity. (NAN)(NAN)
The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, on Tuesday met with the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu and other relevant maritime stakeholders, over the defacing of the Marina.
Amaechi, in a statement by his Media Assistant, Mrs Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni said that all private operators should stop their activities until their licenses were renewed to resolve the Marina challenges.
He said that the agreement was reached with the stakeholders at a meeting held at the State House, Lagos, after which they inspected the barge at the Marina.
“We have agreed that all maritime activities by private operators should cease until they renew their licenses.
“The decision was reached because they are defacing the Marina, and we need to stop that,” Amaechi said.
Meanwhile, Sanwo-Olu said that some of the approvals for barges came from the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, adding that the Lagos State Government would take up the issue with the ministry.
“We will also be talking to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing because we understand that some approvals came from them; so, we will also take up that responsibility,” he said.
Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Grace Yussuf
Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) on Friday said it generated N3.09 billion in 2019 from train service operations nationwide.
Mr Fidet Okhiria, NRC’s Managing Director in a statement signed by Mrs Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni, Media Assistant to the Minister of Transportation, said N1.5 billion of the sum came from the Abuja to Kaduna rail operations.
Okhiria said that the Abuja to Kaduna rail line generated about N130 million monthly in 2019 as against the N80 million generated in the previous year.
He further said that the money generated from the Abuja-Kaduna rail operations was used to service other stations in the Northern region, like the Maiduguri stations.
“The Abuja- Kaduna railway generated over N130 million monthly revenue, with N90 million spent on running cost and payment of staff at the Maiduguri stations which could not operate for now due to insecurity in the State.
“As at 2019, train operations nationwide generated about N3.09 billion and we are targeting about N6 billion when Lagos-Ibadan and Itakpe-Warri come on board,” he said.
The NRC boss, however, noted that the onset of coronavirus pandemic in the country would affect the projected revenue for 2020.
”With the reduction of passengers from 80 passengers to 40 passengers per coach, the revenue that would be generated for 2020 would definitely be affected. Except if the hourly train is properly implemented,” he added.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Tuesday in Lagos bagged THISDAY Editor’s Choice Minister of the Decade award.
Mrs. Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni, Media Assistant to the Minister, in a statement in Abuja, said that Amaechi was chosen among the 43 ministers in the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Also chosen for the award was the former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
The Nigeria News Agency , reports that the THISDAY award ceremony was organised to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the newspaper.
Other nominations are Bank, Banker, Person, CEO, Entrepreneur, Woman, Philanthropist, Institution and Governor of The Decade award.
According to Elebiyo-Edeni, the award was given based on the Editors’ Choice and the People’s Choice.
She said that the Editors Choices were based on the strength of industry knowledge and professional advice, while the people’s choices were based on readers’ votes and perception.
She quoted speakers at the event as saying that Amaechi deserved the award based on his retention by President Muhammadu Buhari as the Minister of Transportation after his re-election.
”The retention of Amaechi testifies to his drive and commitment to giving Nigerians a better traveling experience with his efforts to revive the railway system in the country.
”Amaechi’s effort has led to the completion of some projects such as the Abuja-Kaduna rail project, the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan, standard rail line, Itakpe-Warri rail line and the Lagos-Kano rail line, linking Nigeria’s eastern and northern corridors through the railway.
”Under his watch, the water transportation system is also receiving attention,” she quoted the speakers as saying.
Receiving the award, Amaechi said that he was not expecting the award because he and the THISDAY boss always disagreed more than they agreed.
He, however, dedicated the award to his family and the President for giving much importance to the development of infrastructure in the country.
Amaechi said: ”All my colleagues will agree that we have been getting the attention of the President as far as infrastructure is concerned.
“I dedicate this award to my lovely Wife and my children, for the simple reason that my wife got married to me when I was in politics. She has tolerated me for the rest of her life and she’s being very understanding.
“I also dedicate this award to the President for the importance he attached to infrastructure and also to all Nigerians.”
Presenting the award to him, Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the APC, said that Amaechi deserved the award for his impact in the development of railway in the country.
Oshiomhole said: ”For me, you are a pride to our party and your impact in the rail sector is commendable.
”I know people ride the train from Abuja-Kaduna and Kaduna-Abuja and I know Amaechi is determined to end of his tenure to complete Lagos to Kano.
“I congratulate you for this award which I know you richly deserve.”
Edited by: Angela Okisor