The Senate Wednesday invited the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, to appear before its joint committee on Land Transport and Local and Foreign Debts over alleged exclusion of eastern rail lines.
Amaechi is summoned to tell the upper chamber why the eastern rail corridor, Port Harcourt to Maiduguri, was allegedly excluded in the scheme of rail expansion and modernization.
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe raised a similar motion last year when he prayed the Senate to put on hold a foreign loan for rail lines in the country due exclusion of eastern rail corridor in the rail expansion plan.
Amaechi told the Senate that there was no plan to exclude the South East area in the rail modernization scheme.
He assured that the area will be included in the 2018 borrowing plans of the Federal Government.
Ekweremadu said: “I want to bring to the notice of the Senate, the deliberate exclusion of the Eastern rail line in the ongoing construction/modernisation nationwide. This is not good for our country. It shows that some parts of the country are deliberately ignored.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, Senator Shehu Sani,als said: “The motion raised by Ekweremadu is apt and right. The last time we had an interaction with the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, he promised to include the Port Harcourt to Maiduguri rail line in the ongoing borrowing plans.
“It is now clear to us that there is no commitment to do that. That axis has a lot economic benefits to Nigeria. The withdrawal of General Electric is worrisome. Some of my colleagues in the committee appended their signature to the plan to construct Lagos to Kano rail line. But with this development, I am sure that they are regretting.”
Also Delta South senator, James Manager, wondered why the minister, who hails from the area, has chosen to exclude his place because of political differences.