New railway and seaport development will increase contribution to GDP by 7%
Transport Minister Honorable Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi said the new rails and deep-water ports developed by President Muhammadu Bukhari’s administration across the country will improve transport’s contribution to GDP by 3-10%.
The minister said this on Monday, holding a conference on the day of the founders entitled “The role of transport in national construction.” to its alma mater, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Amaechi said that transport is logistics. The task of transport is to contribute to various areas of economic development. Its absence paralyzes the economy and overshadows human and economic development.
“Transport in Nigeria is a vehicle for economic and political growth in the development of Nigeria. The impact is felt in tourism, real estate development, agriculture and other areas. Transport currently accounts for about 3% of gross domestic product, according to Nigeria’s statistics office, ”he said.
He followed history to explain the importance of connecting different modes of transport, stating that in 1916 the port of Port Harcourt was linked to the Enugu coal mines in order to export coal to the UK.
Outlining the work being done to connect the country to facilitate the transport of food, goods and people, Amaechi said that the eastern railway line would be connected to the western line through Karfanchan, and the Warri-Itakpe line would be connected to the same line through Abuja and then to Kaduna Kano.
“The Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railway line has been extended to Bonnie, on the way to Bonnie it will pass through the Ogoni axis and end at the seaport of Onne; then from Port Harcourt to Owerri it will pass through Ubima with a line connecting to the western line at Karfanchan. The Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Line also extends to Damaturu and Gashua in Yobe State. What makes this line unique is that you will have a university and industrial park in Rivers State.
“Hopefully the Ibadan-Kano segment will start this year,” he added.
With regard to seaports, Amaechi said, “You cannot have an efficient transport system without seaports. You have to end up in seaports for importing goods or exporting to revive your economy. For this reason, President Bukhari approved the construction of three important seaports. The first is the deep-water port of Lekki. It is under construction and will be completed in 2022.
“The second is in Bonnie and we will start construction before the end of the year. We chose Bonny because it is right on the oceanfront. So we have no problems with the project. Even if we get 14-15 meters, we will be able to deepen by 2-3 meters and get 17 compared with 10 in Port Harcourt. “
The deepest in Nigeria at the moment is Onne port with a draft of 11-12 meters. But nowadays ships with a draft of 11 meters have been abandoned from ships with a draft of 16-17 meters. Therefore, we go to the open sea for transshipment of cargo to ships with shallow draft. Thus, these three new seaports will be able to receive vessels with a draft of 16-17 meters. The third port is at Warri and the other was built by the Akwa Ibom government with a private investor.
“I believe that with these seaports and railways, we will move from a 3% contribution to GDP to a value of 6 to 10%,” Amayeci said.
He also took note of the sustainable development plans for projects developed by the Bukhari administration.
“When Nigerians ask about our plans for sustainability and support for these projects, I say technology transfer. So the Chinese can’t just come here and dump technology on us. We insisted that we create a transport university. We told them that for 5 years you are hiring teachers, paying teachers, letting them train our people to replace them, and that is what we are doing in Daur, in the state of Katsina. As for one in Rivers State, I heard that Daur’s Transport University is enough, so we told the Portuguese company that will build the Cano-Maradi line to move to Port Harcourt and build a multi-disciplinary university with several faculties including transport. We will start construction by September.
“As a short-term measure, we also sent 300 Nigerians to China to study. They are trained as a railway engineer. This year, in September, we will send another 300 people to Portugal to study the technology of building the Cano-Maradi railway, which is purely European. “
For safety at sea, Amayachi said the Deep Blue project will be fully operational by the end of the year. We are planning to launch the guards by June. He also assured Nigerians that the federal government has not abandoned the planned coastal railroad. He said negotiations to secure funding for the Lagos-Calabar railroad are still ongoing.
Second Vice-Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt and Chairman of the Founders’ Day Celebration Professor S.D.S. Cook thanked the minister for his contribution to the country’s development as minister of transport and thanked him for continuing to donate money to the college years after graduation.
And about. vice-rector of the institution prof. Stephen. An Okodudu said in his speech that the University of Port Harcourt, founded in 1975, has come of age. He thanked the Minister of Transport, The Honorable Chibuike Amaechi, for the conference and for always taking every opportunity to promote the university.
Source: – Tribune