The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has said that narrow gauge rail lines were not inferior to the standard gauge lines.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos that the only difference between the two lines was speed.
Amaechi was reacting to allegations that the narrow gauge lines were inferior, sub-standard and outdated in other parts of the world.
NAN recalls that some stakeholders had accused the minister of recommending the narrow gauge to the federal government instead of the standard gauge to maximise the benefits of modern rail transportation.
But he explained that the Eastern rail line was going to have both the narrow and standard gauges, adding that the cost of the standard gauge, feasibility and time frame informed the choice.
The minister said it was cheaper to rehabilitate the narrow gauge, which would cost about $3.2 billion, and could be delivered within the approved time frame.
Amaechi said that the standard gauge lines was going to cost about 11 to 14 billion dollars to construct, adding that getting the funds within the limited time was not feasible because of other projects awaiting funding.“The standard gauge line is between 11 to 14 billion dollars to construct on the Eastern flag, the standard gauge as designed in Nigeria is 150km design speed, operational speed is 120km; what is the difference between 120km and 100km? The narrow gauge is about $3.2 billion dollars at 100km per hour. (Guardian)