ABUJA--The Federal Government has commenced remodelling of existing railway stations across the country through Public Private Partnership, PPP, initiative.
Disclosing this in Abuja during a visit of the body of Permanent Secretaries, Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar said that the Federal Ministry of Transportation is focused on its mandate particularly in respect of the country's railway system.
According to Umar, the first phase of the railway stations project, is to be remodeled and redeveloped to connect, Ebute-Meta in Lagos, to Ilorin, Kaduna, Kano, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Jos and Gombe.
He said, "Following the lifting of the embargo on rent and lease of Nigerian railway Corporation's land and landed properties, the redevelopment of the Nigerian railway stations through Public Private Partnership is being processed.
"Transaction Advisers have been commissioned to drive the process for private sector participation".
Umar underscored the modernisation of the railways stations in the country as part of the ultimate solution to the problems hampering the development of the sector.
He stated that the advertisements for the expression of interest are expected to be published next month.
The minister stated that the Federal executive Council has approved the establishment of six Inland Deep Ports also under the PPP arrangement while the federal government has given its approval of Lekki port while the other five namely Ibaka, Agge, Olokola, Badagry, and Ogidigbe/Escravos deep seaports are being processed.
He further stated that the approval of six dry ports have also been given including Isala-Ngwa in Abia state; Ibadan, Kano, Haipang in Jos, Funtua in Katsina and Maiduguri.
According to the minister, "We are working seriously to build new seaports in the country because the ports are overstretched particularly Lagos where 60 percent of our cargoes are being handled".