The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has dismissed suggestions that he is being touted as the country’s next president, noting that only God knows Nigeria’s next leader.
Amaechi who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics explained that he is focussing on his job as a minister and would not want to be distracted.
“I am still the Minister for Transportation and only God can tell who will be the President of Nigeria in 2023,” the 58-year-old Minister said during the programme.
The Minister had earlier said the Kano-Maradi (Niger Republic) rail project will cost the Nigerian government $1.9bn.
“The project is going to cost us $1.9bn and we will source it from mostly Europe,” the former Rivers Governor added, noting, however, that the government is yet to secure the loan.
“We are about concluding it,” Amaechi said.
On how long it will take the country to repay the loan, he explained that it is not within the jurisdiction of his ministry but noted that the railway project will commence on Tuesday.
“That is the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance. When we would pay; what are the terms of agreement for the loan and all that would be the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance,” the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain said.
“So, that question can be directed to the Minister for Finance. For us in Transportation, our job is to work with the Ministry of Finance to procure the loan and commence construction and we think we would commence construction on Tuesday.”
According to him, the project was initiated based on national interest, stressing that it would open up the country to more investment.
“The interest is national; the interest is about Nigeria. The Maradi terminal is just 20 kilometres away from Nigeria; just 20 kilometres. So, there is no huge investment like Nigerians are thinking,” the minister said.