[The Nation] The Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved 1.488 billion dollars for the Lagos-Ibadan double track rail line project.
Minister of Information Labaran Maku spoke with reporters on the outcome of the weekly FEC meeting, presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said the approval followed a memorandum to the Council on the rail project.
The minister noted that the project was in 2006 awarded to CCECC Ltd, a Chinese firm, but could not be completed due to lack of funds.
Maku said the project would be executed in six phases to cover 2,733 kilometres.
“One major decision we made today was the modernisation of the Nigerian Railway system. For quite a while, Mr President has given a lot of attention to the transport sector, particularly the development of the railways.
“The standard gauge line, which we approved today in the council is going to run between Lagos, Ibadan, Ilorin, Minna, Kano and there would be a phase that will take off from Minna to Abuja.
“The one from Abuja to Kaduna is under construction.’’
According to him, the project, to be completed in 36 months, will generate over 5,000 jobs.
Minister of Transport Sen. Idris Umar said the project was part of the second segment of the Lagos-Ibadan rail project with a distance of 156.65 km.
FCT Minister Sen. Bala Muhammed said the Council approved a variation of the contract for the design and construction of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit project (Lots 1 and 3) from 60.67 km to 45.245 km.
He said the cost was revised from 841,645,898 dollars to 823,540,545.87 dollars.
The Council was apprised of the country’s rating on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) index, which the Minister of Trade and Investment Segun Aganga, said has improved.
He said Nigeria has improved in the FDI attraction index to the 23rd position making it a first quarter country for FDI attractiveness.
Nigeria is ranked first in the top five host economies for FDI in Africa at $8.91 billion in 2011 compared to $6.09billion in 2010, followed by South Africa with $5.9 billion in 2011 and Ghana with $3.2 billion.
Nigeria accounted for over one-sixth of flows into Africa. Only Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana attracted FDI inflows above $3 billion in 2011.
Nigeria has made the final list of Commonwealth Association of Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) award.
Minister of Urban Planning and Housing Development Ms Ame Pepple said the competition assesses one of the goals of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that has to do with the reduction of maternal and infant mortality.
She said this is a Federal Government programme by the ministry that employs qualified midwives.