HC Deb 22 June 1925 vol 185 cc1060-1

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the increase of spindles and the decrease of the cotton crop in the United States, he can do anything to expedite the construction of the new railways in Northern Nigeria, with the object of stimulating the growing of raw cotton?


The position is as stated in my reply to my hon. Friend on the 17th June. It is essential that proper consideration of the best routes be given before any new lines are sanctioned, and I recently asked the Nigerian Government to let me have their recommendations at an early date.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what railway construction is in progress in Nigeria at the present time; how long the Eastern Railway has been under construction and when it is likely to be completed; whether the construction is being carried out by Government agency and finance; who are the consulting engineers in this country; and what is the authority supervising the staff employed and the accounts?


The final section, from the River Benue to Kakuri, of the Nigerian Eastern Railway, and a branch line from Kagoro to Bukuru, are under construction. They are expected to be completed in 1926 or 1927. The construction is being carried out by the Nigerian Government and the cost met from Nigerian loan funds. No firm of consulting engineers is employed. Construction is in charge of a chief construction engineer, who is responsible to the Nigerian Government. The accounts are audited by the Director of Colonial Audit, like other Nigerian Government expenditure. The first section of the Nigerian Eastern Railway, from Port Harcourt to Enugu, was commenced in 1913 and opened in 1916. The second section, from Enugu to the Benue, was started in March 1921, and opened in August, 1924.


Do I understand that no consulting engineers are being employed in this country?


The Crown Agents for the Colonies act as consulting engineers.