Minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, yesterday said the amount expended on the construction of the Abuja-Kaduna railway hasd reached $1.04 billion after about $849 million was initially budgeted for it.
The minister made this disclosure at Idu, Abuja, while inspecting the final completion of the rail project.
He said, “The cost of the project for the contract was initially awarded at the rate of $849million but we used $1.04billion because of the additions of constructing fence from Abuja to Kaduna on the two sides, light and all that.”
Amaechi also expressed satisfaction with the project and noted that the standard gauge had been completed and would be ready for test-running by the second week of the month, while official commissioning will be in July, 2016.
“I am impressed with what I have seen today,” he said, “and I must say we are good to go. The reason why we are not going immediately is because we have to also take into consideration the religious obligations of the president so that we can also bring him to flag off the project. We are looking at the first week in July but we are good to go.
“Two weeks will be used for test-run of the track without passengers and the other two weeks will be used for another round of test-run but with passengers and it will be free of charge. First week in July, we believe that the president will come and flag if off for commercial activities and, after that, anybody who boards has to pay.”