THE Federal Government plans to spend $6.1 billion on the construction of Ibadan-Ilorin-Minna-Kano standard gauge lines of the Nigerian Railway Corporation.
The Lagos-Ibadan line which will cost $1.5 billion, will be funded with a Chinese loan.
Transportation Minister Chuibuke Amaechi said this in Ilorin at a town hall meeting for Northcentral states.
Amaechi added that the failure of the National Assembly to approve the Federal Government’s borrowing plan from China was holding the government back.
He urged the people to prevail on the National Assembly to approve the loan.
He said the loan, when accessed, would enable the Federal Government to embark on the revitalisation of rail projects to create more jobs for Nigerians.
Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed cautioned Nigerians, who were making statements that could cause religious disharmony.
Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole said the Federal Government had secured a loan of $500 million to fund revival of Basic Health Institutions, of which he said N420 million were disbursed to each state in 2015 to fund the project.
Under the scheme, which would provide 1,000 basic health centres as already captured in the budget, the minister said a model health centre is being sited in one each of the three senatorial districts in the states.
“We are going round this year to find out what they have done with this money. If they have done well, we will give them a handshake and give them more money and if they have not done anything, they will have to pay back,” he said.
Adewole said the revitalisation of the health centres were necessary to relief teaching hospitals from being over-stretched with cases that ordinarily would have been attended to at the primary health level.
He said the Federal Government was equipping the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) to be a regional centre for treatment of cancer cases.
The minister called for synergy between the states and Federal Government to fix infrastructure.
Other ministers, who gave their stewardships were those of Budget and
National Planning (Zainab Ahmed), Water (Sulyman Adamu), State for Mining and Steel (Abubakar Bawa Bwauari) and Trade and Investment (Ayishat Abubakar).