Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has directed an end to the free services rendered on the Warri-Itakpe rail line indicating the commencement of commercial activities. He also revealed that the project of connecting Itakpe to Abuja by rail will gulp $3 billion.
According to Amaechi in connecting the Itakpe-Abuja project, “we have to go to the cabinet first. When the cabinet approve that, it will be a different project altogether. We need $3 billion dollars with a seaport at Warri.”
The minister who made this known during the inspection of the Warri-Itakpe rail project said, ‘‘you just heard me say that the Managing Director should start collecting money. They should start paying for the ride, it cannot be free forever.”
Speaking on the impression of the project, he said: “they are nearing completion here. Julius Berger has said that they will be out of here by June and the only company that have to be left here is the CCECC which is working on the tracks. And, when they finish the track work, this place would be open for use.
“I am impressed with the level of work done so far. When you are owing someone, you can’t say that you are not impressed with them. Remember, this is the third visit. The first visit, this place was overgrown by weeds and with nothing. The second visit, they have started, but only on the other phase, the third visit, almost completed.” On the level of work done, he explained that “comparing the track work and what is outstanding with the stations that they are working on, before September, October, they should be able to finish the stations if they continue with the pace of work and they can actually do it. We are not harassing them today because we are owing them. But, when we pay them, we can harass them”.