• Friday, September 29, 2023
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FG insists $1.59bn Kano-Maradi rail project viable


Nigeria’s minister of transportation, Rotimi Ameachi, says the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari is embarking on the construction of a rail line to link Kano with Maradi in Niger Republic in order to boost Nigeria’s economy.

The 283.7 kilometer rail project has continued to raise public concern as to the economic viability of the rail corridor when there are other parts of the country where passenger and cargo train services have been neglected for many years. Government had also earlier debunked impression making the rounds in certain quarters that the Kano-Katsina-Jibia-Maradi railway line would be built by Nigerian in the territory of the neighbouring Niger Republic was wrong.

Cope and form of the project will see the Nigerian end of the rail line terminating at the country’s end of the border with Niger. “An agreement between Nigeria and Niger in 2015, coordinated by the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission for Cooperation has a plan for “Kano-Katsina-Maradi Corridor Master Plan, (K2M)” as it is called’’. Said presidency sources.

According to the spokesman, Nigeria and the Niger Republic signed an agreement in 2015 to build a track from their ends, explaining that the two works, named the ‘Kano-Katsina-Maradi Corridor Master Plan (K2M)”, would meet at the border.

Last week, the federal government signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mota- Engil Group for the construction of $1.959 billion Kano-Maradi standard gauge railway lines.

When completed, the rail track will run through three states of Kano, Jigawa and Katsina and through Niger territory as far as Maradi. Other cities that will be affected by the rail line in Nigeria are Danbatta, Kazaure, Daura, Mashi, Katsina and Jibiya; all located in the northern part of Nigeria.

The 283.750 kilometre rail line besides developing freight and passenger transport will be integrated with road transport that will make a great contribution to the local economy as well as an important development in the social sector. The project duration is for 36 months and the contract type is engineering, procurement and construction.

In attendance during the signing ceremony were the permanent secretary, federal ministry of transportation, Magdalene Ajani and the director, legal services, Pius Oteh, managing director, Mota-Engil Group, Antonio Gvoea and head of legal, Mota- Engil Group, Cameron Beverley.