In reaction to the people’s resentment on the Federal Government’s planned construction of the narrow-gauge railway rather than standard gauge line on the Eastern rail line, the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, speaking through his personal assistant Taiye Edeni, said:
“The standard gauge line is between $11bn to $14bn to construct on the Eastern flag. The standard gauge as designed in Nigeria is 150km in terms of speed, operational speed is 120km.
“What is the difference between 120km and 100km? The narrow gauge is about $3.2bn dollars at 100km per hour.”
In addition to that, “the narrow gauge is cheaper at $3bn against the $11bn to $14bn standard gauge. And why we did not get the approval for the narrow gauge on time was because the President insisted on the standard gauge from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri.
“My argument was, if I can achieve the same length of rail with $3bn why not take that first until when we get money, we can now go for the standard gauge.”