The federal government has suspended construction work on Port Harcourt-Maidugiri Eastern rail line due to insecurity and vandalism of railway properties along the corridor.
The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo who disclosed this during an inspection tour of the project on Friday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, said China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), the contractor handling the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the project has complained of attacks on its workers along the Abia State axis.
Sambo who condemned the attacks in strong terms, pointed out that in the history of Nigeria, no administration has invested more in rail infrastructure like the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He used the opportunity to 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 deterrent to others.
The minister also dismissed claims that funds meant for the Eastern rail line is diverted to other projects as the progress made so far is from the 15% of the counterpart funding by Nigeria while the 85% to be provided by foreign partners is still being negotiated.