Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, says rail lines being constructed across the country is not economically viable to repay back loans secured for its constructions.
Mr Amaechi who stated this on Monday while featuring on The Morning Show on Arise Television challenged the presenters to show him where in the world where loans borrowed to construct rail lines are paid back from money accuring through rail services.
His claim contradicts those of officials of the President Muhammadu Buhari regime who are justifying the enormous loan requests of the Nigerian leader to construct railways adding that proceeds from the rail lines will be used to repay the borrowed funds.
“You are looking at economic viability, I am not aware of anywhere in the world,” the minister said. “Please help furnish me with the information where rail line have been used to pay back such loans.
“Nowhere in the world. If you leave the rail as it is, it is not economically viable in terms of cash. What makes its economic viability is the fact that it provides services for those who are involved in other economic activities,” Mr Amaechi added.
The former Rivers governor also said presently, loan requests for the construction of Ibadan to Abuja rail project will commence when its negotiation has been completed while that of Kano-Kaduna rail project will be funded from the budget pending when Nigeria gets the loan from China.
Last week, the president said he prioritised building of railways due to the bad state of Nigerian roads, a decision that has emboldened critics who accused him of further aggravating the country’s debt status.