[OPNION] Senator Abaribe and PDP Senators from South East should bury their heads in Shame

South East Senators

By Paschal Candle

The print media and social media was hot because of what Senatorial Abaribe said about the loan which Federal Government intended to obtain for the construction of Lagos-calabar coastal Rail project valued at 11.117 Billion dollars. 

Senator threatened fire and brimstone, but to me he is seeking cheap popularity. I said so because these senators are not doing anything for the south-east. They try to let us know that Buhari hate Ndigbo, but in actual fact, it is these Senators and PDP that hates us.

This rail project in question was awarded by Ex-president Goodluck Jonathan. Where were Ike Ekweremmadu, Abaribe actual and others when Goodluck awarded this contract?

The Federal Government initially awarded this contract to China Civil Engineering Construction Company under Goodluck Jonathan’s administration at the rate of $11.917billion, but was renegotiated to $11.117 billion following the drop in prices of some commodities by President Buhari when he visited China. Thereby saving for Nigerian government the sum of 800 Million Dollars, that is PDP govt style of contract.

In the renegotiated price, the Nigerian government will take care of 15 per cent of the counterpart funding of the entire project that is expected to be completed in two years.

Speaking in Abuja during the signing of the MOU, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said: “This contract was awarded by the President Goodluck Jonathan regime at $11.917 billion and when we took over as the Ministry of Transportation, we negotiated with CCECC and succeeded in reducing the contract sum from $11.917 billion to $11.117 billion.

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“We are able to save $800million after negotiation with CCECC and that has to do with the fact that CCECC said prices of commodities like steel and other things have come down and there was need to bring down the prices of those things.

“So, our gathering is to sign same contract but with different price and to make it legal from the initial price to the negotiated price”, he said.

The minister also disclosed that the first segment of the project will commence as soon as discussion is finalised with China Exim Bank.

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Now, see the route where this project or rail will cover. From the start, which is the first segment,  the Minister said, “The first segment of the project, which is Calabar, Uyo, Aba and Port Harcourt and which would include all the seaports on the route will commence after discussion with China Exim Bank.

Route Sketch of Nigeria Coastal Railway

“Meanwhile, the entire contract covers Calabar, Uyo, Aba, Port Harcourt, Yenagoa, Otuoke, Ughelli, Warri, Sapele, Benin, Agbor, Asaba, Onitsha, Ore, Ijebu Ode, Sagamu and Lagos, and we believe that it will head to the Lagos Seaport to ensure that all the tracks terminate at the seaports we currently have in Nigeria”.

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On when the project will be ready, Amaechi said: “My expectation is that the project can be completed in two years since funding won’t be a problem. We will conclude Lagos to Ibadan in two years and conclude Calabar to Port Harcourt in two years too.

“The project signed is in the budget and we are at the point of execution. We have signed the formal contract with CCECC and once we get the blessing from China Exim Bank, we will commence construction and we are paying 15 per cent of the contract as counterpart funding”.

Commenting on the Abuja- Kaduna railway project, the minister said the government will purchase more coaches in order to accommodate passenger.

He said: “The test running has commenced but we have to hear from the president to know when the official ceremony will take place. We are not collecting money yet because we said we will collect money from the day the President flags it off.

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So Ndi igbo, who is your real enemy. Why should these vainglorious senators continue to make us believe that Buhari hates us and that APC is against ndigbo. What can PDP tell us that they did for us?  We are wiser now. Look at the massive work going on at Enugu – Onitsha expressway, look at Enugu – Port Harcourt road being handled by Setraco.

Look at Owerri – Port Harcourt road, the massive work going on, courtesy of President Buhari and APC. Yes, in terms of appointment, it may not have favoured us, but in projects, it has. Check out the new design for second Niger Bridge, this rail that will pass through Onitsha has a route route to Asaba, Agbor and Benin.

We know PDP members are doing everything possible to discredit APC in South East, but we will not allow them.

Never again shall we make that costly mistake of 2015. Below is the design for the rail route.

Paschal Candle writes from Abuja.
Op-Ed: Content and contribution are solely the opinion of the author, and does not represent the opinion policy of Abacityblog

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