Lagos — Managing Director of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Engr. Fidet Okhiria, has explained that the Federal Government has not spent up to $12bn contrary to what he called misinformation to the public.
He said the 186-kilometre Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge which was opened last year had not hit $1bn, further disclosing that the project cost around $830m.
Okhiria's clarification came against the backdrop of a report that Kenya spent $3.2bn to construct a 400-kilometre standard gauge.
He said: "I have been reading on the social media that Kenya constructed 400km at $3.2bn whereas Nigeria spent $12bn. To the best of my knowledge, we have done Kaduna/Abuja which was $830m and if you include the rolling stocks; the coaches was about N820m. Then the locomotive was N1.3bn.
"So we have not hit $1bn for the 186 kilometres that we are operating. So Nigerians calculate everything they hear on budget. Like Lagos-Kaduna was $8.3bn, which is about 1, 306km; and most of it double lane and we have not accessed the money to talk of even spending it?
"The Lagos-Calabar was initially awarded at $11.9bn but when our Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, came, he renegotiated and we saved over N800bn from it and that is over 1,500 kilometres, and we have not also accessed the money.