The Federal Government has said that the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railway project cannot be completed before the end of the Buhari-led administration.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo on Wednesday.
Sambo who made the disclosure while answering questions from State House reporters said the plan to complete the project before the end of president Muhammadu Buhari's administration was no longer feasible.
The former Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi had said that the project would be completed before the end of Buhari's tenure.
President Buhari had two years ago performed the groundbreaking ceremony of the project which was billed at $1.96 billion.
Meanwhile, Sambo explained that it has become impossible to meet up with the target because it was challenging to fund it.
He added that the federal government had not been able to obtain the foreign counterpart funding embedded in the project, making it impossible to fund as planned.
He further stated that the project was currently being funded through the 15 per cent counterpart funding from the budget.
“The question relating to the promise to deliver the eastern line narrow gauge before the end of this administration; now, the eastern line is the line from Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, it has been segmented in such a way that the first part of the works covers from Port Harcourt to Enugu.
“Now, the truth of the matter is that if there was a promise to deliver this line before the end of this administration, this promise is no longer feasible because, when the contract was approved, it was approved on the premise that 85 per cent will be funded through foreign loan, while 15 per cent will be the counterpart funding for the national budget.
"Since that approval, we have not been able to obtain that 85 per cent foreign loans for this project.
“We have been funding it through the national budget on the basis of the 15 per cent counterpart funding of the federal government.
"And therefore, funding has been a major challenge for this project.”