The Federal Government has taken another step to increase the number of rail-lines across the country with the approval, today, of contract for the feasibility study of standard rail gauge system along six rail corridors in the country, at the cost of N1.3 Billion.
The minister of transport, Senator Idris Umar told newsmen shortly after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa, that the rail corridors were identified under the 25 years strategic railway development policy of the federal government.
The minister, who addressed Journalists along with his information counterpart, Labaran Maku and that of Trade and Industry, Olusegun Aganga, said that the contract include studies of the viability of the rail project and identification of business and economic activities along the selected corridors.
According to Senator Idris, the feasibility study will also involve identification of the rail stations along the route with a view to coming up with the environmental impact assessment.
He said that the total length of the six rail lines will be 4,430 kilometers and are expected to be completed within six months.
The corridors include Kano/ Dai/Jimbia an approximate distance of 354KM, Ilela/Sokoto/Jega / Kontagora, 408km, Aba/ Ikot Ekpene/ Itu/ Uyo / Uduopkani/Calabr, covering a total distance of 340km, Kano/ Nguru/ Geshua/ Damaturu/ Maiduguri/ gamburu Ngala, covering 707 Km, Calabar/ Ikom/ Obudu/ Ogoja/ Katsina Ala/ Wukari/ Jalingo/Yola/ Maiduguri 1669km.
The last of the corridor is the rail line from Port harcourt/ Aba/ Umuahia/ Enugu/ Lafia/ Jos/ Bauchi/ Biu/ Maidiguri, 550km.
Senator Umar said that
the seven corridors earlier awarded have been completed and contract will be awarded soon for the construction of standard rail line
He said that the rail corridors were carefully selected to cover areas with strong economic potentials, including mining, petrochemicals, Solid minerals deposits, agricultural zones, linkages to airports and state capitals across the country.
“We want to ensure that within the next 25 years, government will put in more effort to ensure the development of areas through government fundings and through public private partnership arrangements”
The scope of work to be carried out by the consultants will include detail studies for them to establish the viability of these projects, bring out the technical, economic and financial models to establish the viability of the project.
“They are also to provide proposal for the alignment and connections of the urban and commercial settlements along the proposed routes.
“They are equally to carry out detail surveys and design of the selected alignments to identify potential train stations and other rail base infrastructure to incorporate them in the design.”
Others include the environmental impact assessment and identification of the rail stations, workshops and other rail base infrastructure along the route, including engineering design and the bill of engineering measurement as well as the tender document for the award of the contract in due course.