17th October, 2021
The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi flunked a simple maths check when he claimed the Buhari Government had completed about 700km of Railway tracks.
But a fact check showed that the minister’s maths was incorrect and that he exaggerated the figure.
The rail tracks completed are 567Kms long, not close to 700, but even far from 600km.
Itakpe-Warri is 225km. Lagos to Ibadan is 156km. Abuja-Kaduna is about 186km.
“So close to 700km of rail completed and carrying out commercial activities”, he claimed.
But the simple addition showed he exaggerated the level of accomplishment.
The mathematical padding further revealed an embarrassing fact: government has only done about 10 percent of the 5000km to 6000km it plans to do.
Amaechi said that the Federal Government was already negotiating for a new facility to construct the rail from Ibadan to Kano.
‘We have not finished the loan negotiation with China but we have commenced from budget not from loan, the construction of Kano to Kaduna.
”So that at any point in time the Chinese are able to give us loan, we know that it will be from Ibadan to Abuja, but for now we have done Abuja to Kaduna, we are now doing Kaduna to Kano.
In the 2022 budget, over N205 billion was earmarked for the transportation sector.
The transportation sector was included as one of the beneficiaries of about N1.45 trillion critical sectorial allocation in the 2022 budget.
About N71.67billion as counterpart funding was allocated to six ongoing rail projects across the country and more than N4 billion was for rehabilitation of various rail tracks.
According to the minister, over N1 billion has been paid into a special account as the ministry’s contribution to repay part of the loan collected for the rail projects.
”Within this period as the minister, we have never paid money to the government but we got to the Ministry of Finance and asked them to open an account where we pay money every month as our own contribution for repayment of the loan.
”And I think we have gotten over N1 billion already in the last few months.
”Every month that we pay, we are able to return close to N200million per month,” Amaechi said.