September 03, (THEWILL) – China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), has suspended work on the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line over insecurity.
Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, who disclosed this in a statement on Saturday, said the suspension was due to insecurity and vandalism of railway properties along the corridor.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had in 2020, approved the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line valued at $3 billion.
But in an update by the Minister during an inspection tour of the project in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Sambo said the CCECC contractor handling the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the project, had complained of attacks on its workers along the Abia state axis.
“I am very displeased by these acts and I condemn it in strong terms,” the minister said.
“In the history of Nigeria, no administration has invested more in rail infrastructure like the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I call on the media and the judiciary to collaborate with the ministry to ensure that these economic saboteurs are not only exposed but prosecuted and sentenced speedily to serve as a deterrent to others”, he said even as he refuted reports that funds meant for the eastern rail line were diverted to other projects.
“The progress made so far is from 15 percent of the counterpart funding by Nigeria while the 85 percent to be provided by foreign partners is still negotiated”, he added.