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Amid public outcry, Kano-Maradi SGR project kicks-off

…1m tons freight, 3,5m passengers movement projected in 10 years

The federal government yesterday commenced the construction of the Kano-Maradi standard gauge rail (SGR) project with a distance of 284 kilometer by the contractor, Messrs Mota-Engil Nigeria Limited, a Portuguese firm despite the public outcry.

Upon completion, the project will have a total of 15 stations including Maradi which comprises two main stations in Kano and Katsina, three medium stations in Kazaure, Daura and Jibiya, three small stations in Shagalle, Dambatta and Mashi, with other Halt stations at the Airport, Kunya Dube, Muduru, Daddara, Anoal Mata and Maradi.

When completed, the project will serve domestic industries and play the role of a viable transportation backbone, linking countries in the West Africa sub-region starting with the neighbouring Niger Republic for their import and export logistics chain.

The groundbreaking which will be done by President, Muhammadu Buhari (GCON) will be attended by the minister of transportation of Niger, governors, ambassadors, ministers of both countries and other important stakeholders in the transportation sector.

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A statement by the media aide to the transportation minister, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi says that the Kano-Maradi line is crucial to the overall railway development in Nigeria and the sub region and therefore when completed, it represents the last section of the corridor that connects Lagos-Kano and subsequently to the Republic of Niger, through the border town of Maradi.

According to the statement, the total population of the three states concerned by the new line which is Kano, Katsina and Maradi has 19,563,874 inhabitants in 2006 and was estimated at 22,166,543 in 2010, which by estimated annual growth rate of 2.7 percent will amount to 28,933,988 in 2020 which represents 14 percent of the total population of Nigeria.

The project which is a standard gauge railway line of about 284km traverses Kano-Dambatta-Kazaure-Daura-Mashi-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradi in Niger Republic. The line has been designed to pass close to major cities; town and villages without dividing them to facilitate public transportation and to stimulate the development of the agricultural economy and manufacturing industries along the corridor as well reduce the cost development.

The railway will account for average freight carriage forecast of 1,043,980.5 tons annually in the first 10 years of operation within its short corridor and a forecast of average passenger traffic of 3,543,637.9 annually within the same period.

“A geometrical increase in this service is expected when it is linked to the port of Apapa, Tin-can Island and Warri is realised in the southern part of the country by the construction of Lagos-Kano and Abuja-Itakpe respectively to average forecast of 2.2 million tons annually and passenger traffic of average of 5.1 million’’. The statement said.

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