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FG Backs Amaechi, Says Lagos-Calabar Railway Project was Included in Budget

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AMAECHIThe Federal Government has rebutted claims by the National Assembly that the controversial Lagos-Calabar Railway project was never included in the 2016 Budget.

A statement issued by James Akpandem, Media Adviser to the Minister of Budget and National Planning Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, the federal government insisted that the budget that was defended by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi contained the said Lagos-Calabar Railway project.

The statement read:

In view of the recent controversies surrounding the 2016 budget, it has become necessary to state the following so as to set the facts straight:
The details of the 2016 budget were received by the President on Thursday, April 7, 2016.

Immediately this was received the President, desirous of signing the document into law as soon as possible, directed that copies should be made available to Heads of the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government.
“Ministers were asked to go through the details and give their reactions as it affects their respective Ministries so as to guide the President and enable him sign the Appropriation Bill into law.

That process is still on-going and no statement has been issued by the Executive on the matter, apart from the one by the Honourable Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohamnmed, to confirm that details of the budget are being examined. No final decision has been taken by the President and no other statement whatsoever has been issued on the matter.

With reference to the specific issue of the Calabar – Lagos rail project, we will like to state that the two railway projects, Lagos – Kano and the Calabar – Lagos, are very important projects of the present administration; and it was always the intention of the Executive to have both projects reflected in the budget submitted to the National Assembly.

However, it will be recalled that the Budget Office made a number of errors in the initial proposals of a number of ministries. These errors were all corrected by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning and the corrected versions were submitted to the relevant committees of the National Assembly. This included that of the Ministry of Transportation.

The amended Ministry of Transportation budget was accepted by the relevant committees and that was the version defended by the Minister of Transportation and his team.

It must be emphasized that the two rail projects are part of those for which the President is currently negotiating funding with the Chinese government. The N60b provided in the budget for the Lagos – Kano and Calabar – Lagos rail lines, respectively, is counterpart funding, to support the Chinese financing for the projects.

These projects are part of the Strategic Implementation Plan of the government which was disclosed by the Minister of Budget and National Planning at the National Economic Council Retreat in March 2016, in the presence of state governors. They were also mentioned by the Vice President last week in Lagos at The Nation Newspaper’s First National Economic Forum.

It is hoped that with this clarification, the raging controversy over the Calabar – Lagos rail project will be put to rest.

Source: Today.ng

9 Comments

  1. Weezy

    April 12, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    Call me naïve, yet I think it’s a good sign that there have been so many public statements , accusations and counter-accusations concerning this infamous budget. Without all the drama, most people would not have paid any attention to the process for passing the National budget. Now we all want to see the budget and were curious about whether this railway project will come to fruition. The more drama surrounding the budget, the more information the public has on its contents, and the more we can hold the government accountable.

    Its nice to see government people doing their jobs with an element of passion.

  2. Confuzzled

    April 12, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    Amaechi… sowing confusion since 1914… when Rivers people complained about him no one listened.

  3. mark

    April 13, 2016 at 5:08 am

    I think you say MB is ur father tell he to help you out

  4. Gen

    April 13, 2016 at 6:28 am

    Weezy this you call element of passion. E be like say you drink whisky before this your comment

    • Weezy

      April 13, 2016 at 6:45 pm

      Here’s the Oxford dictionary definition of passion:
      Strong and barely controllable emotion.

  5. Ibinabo

    April 13, 2016 at 8:58 am

    The failed monorail project in Port Harcourt should be a lesson to the everyone but we no go learn. Amaechi blew billions of naira on the project for NOTHING!.

  6. tannie

    April 13, 2016 at 9:53 am

    The truth is beginning to come out. The railway was not in the original budget submitted by the President to the National assembly but the version defended by the Minister of Transportation. The question is “Is Ameachi supposed to defend his version or the version submitted by the president?”

  7. ophelia n

    April 15, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Railway again. Monorail was one chance,now its two railway projects, Lagos – Kano and the Calabar All of these State.
    Now you see me Nigeria Movie Loading

  8. yemit

    July 26, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Who is fooling who? A rail which as already commented since, b4 formal president Goodluck live d office or what? lagos to calabar Railway line!!! Nawaooo if I may ask which railway ar dey under construction in lagos along badagry to cms? Bcos am sure is stil going along lekki to calabar as well..hmn No one 2b trust again. Lie lie muhamed n other fraudulent kabal..

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