Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, the minister of transportation, has presented a budget of N92.6 billion to the joint committee of the senate and the house of representatives on land and marine transport for the 2023 fiscal year.
The minister who made the presentation on Thursday in Abuja, said the budget covers for the ministry and its agencies.
He also presented the 2022 budget performance, of the ministry which was N147,549,080,677 out of which N52,134,727,253.22 representing 35.33 percent has been released and n38,904,208,345 has been utilized as at 25th october, 2022.
He said the ministry is implementing the Nigeria railway modernisation project and progressively expanding the railway network through yearly budgetary appropriations, following the challenges being faced in securing counterpart funding through loans.
He disclosed the implementation of the Kaduna-Kano, Port Harcourt- Maidugiri and Kano-Maradi segments of the railway modernisation is ongoing with the federal government counterpart funding in the 2022 appropriation while expecting the Federal Ministry of Finance to conclude negotiations of the loans with the infrastructure development finance institutions of the Chinese, Portuguese and Turkish origin to implement the projects.
The minister said that the Lagos-Ibadan segment of the Lagos-Kano and Itakpe to Warri railway project are fully operational and receiving patronage from the general public.
“To reach practical completion on these projects, some aspects of works, including the construction of overpass bridges, connection to the national grid and other ancillary provisions have to be completed. Therefore, adequate funds need to be provided in the 2023 budget to facilitate the practical completion of the projects,” the minister said.
He said the ministry plans to commence operation on the Abuja-Kaduna rail line to install necessary security gadgets to monitor the line and forestall a reoccurrence any security threat to passengers’ safety.
The minister said the ministry has continued to pursue the implementation of government policies in the land transport sub-sector in the country, including issues relating to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocols and conventions entered into in respect of the sub-sector.
Sambo said the ministry has achieved significant progress in completing the ongoing national freight offices at Iiela Jibiya and Idiroko in addition to other land transport projects.
“With your support, the capturing of all these projects and programs as proposed before you in the 2023 budget proposal will assist us further to actualize the desired goals,” he added.
Earlier, the chairman of the national assembly committee on land and marine, Danjuma Goje expressed dismay that the budget is not implemented within the budget year despite early approval by the national assembly.