SURE-P intervention in rail modernisation now N32bn

Over N32bn has so far been spent on the railway modernisation project by the Federal Government under the Subsidy Re-Investment and Empowerment Programme.

The figure was given by the Convener, Railway Sub-committee, SURE-P, Mr. Chike Okogwu, during a chat with journalists in Abuja on Thursday.

According to him, some of the routes currently being constructed under the programme are the Idu-Kaduna; Port Harcourt-Makurdi; Makurdi-Jos; and Gombe-Bauchi rail lines.

“Till date, I can say over N32bn has been spent in all the SURE-P interventions nationwide,” he said.

Okogwu said with the pace of work currently being done at the construction sites, all the rail projects would be ready by 2014.

For instance, he said the Idu-Kaduna rail line had attained 55 per cent completion, while that of the eastern route is currently at 48 per cent completion.

“With the materials on site for the eastern line, I can say we are about 48 per cent completed; and for the Idu-Kaduna line, it is 55 per cent completion,” he said.

He also said about 1,800 jobs had so far been created through the intervention in the railway sector, adding that when the project was completed, more employment opportunities would be available for Nigerians.

Okogwu said, “The SURE-P Railway Sub-committee in collaboration with the Community Service Women and Youth Empowerment Department of SURE-P have created about 1,800 jobs for people to maintain the Lagos to Kano line.

“The SURE-P will fund the payment of their salaries now and as an exit strategy; these workers will now be absorbed into the Nigerians Railway Corporation because when this line is well maintained, the frequency on the line will increase, more money will be earned and people can now earn salaries,” he said.

Within the first five months of the year, the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee had disbursed a total amount of N171.2bn to the three tiers of government under the SURE-P. Of the N171.2bn, the Federal Government received N75bn; state governments, N64.4bn; while the 774 local governments got the balance of N31.8bn.

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