The project is being handled by a Chinese construction firm.
Mr. Sambo made this known on Thursday when he laid the track of the project at the Idu area of Abuja.
He said the ceremony signified the official commencement of the track-laying of the Abuja-Kaduna railway modernisation project. He also said the project was part of President Goodluck Jonathan’s people-oriented projects aimed at touching the lives of Nigerians.
“As you are fully aware, this Administration accords top priority to the development of infrastructure as a component of the Transformation Agenda as well as the Vision 20:2020,” he said.
“In that regard, several projects covering critical sectors in transportation like roads, waterways, aviation, and power supply, housing and the development of critical projects and programmes are being undertaken by this administration and are at various stages of completion.
This is an administration that keeps to its promises,” he added.
According to him, the funding of the project is being complemented through proceeds from the Subsidy Reinvestment Empowerment-Programme (SURE-P).
The Vice President expressed regret over the neglect of the rail sector, and said that with the articulation of the 25 years Strategic Rail Vision, the railways would return to its glorious days.
He said government was determined to concession the railway facilities upon completion, adding “opportunities abound for Foreign Direct Investments in this important sector.”
The Vice President commended the China Civil Engineering & Construction Company (CCECC) Nigeria Limited, the project handlers, on its efforts at ensuring timely completion of the project.
In his remarks, the Minister of Transport, Idris Umar, said the project was part of the Strategic plan “to rejuvenate, modernise and revitalise the comatose rail transport system.”
He said the Kaduna-Abuja Rail project, which has reached 68 per cent completion, was the first segment of the Lagos-Kano Standard Gauge Rail line.
The event was witnessed by public and private sector functionaries.