Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity has cleared the air on the approved $1.96 billion contracts awarded for the construction of a rail line from Kano State to the Niger Republic.
Garba stated that the rail construction was to the border of Niger Republic as the two-nation will build a rail track to meet.
He stated that the project when completed will help in the ‘harnessing of raw materials, mineral resources and agricultural produce’.
His statement reads, ‘Nigeria isn’t building rail line into Niger but, only to the designated Border point. 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.
Going by this, the two nations would each build a rail track to meet at the border town of Maradi.
Nigerian delegates to that meeting comprised officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Boundaries Commission, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Water Resources as well as those of Kano & Katsina states.
The objective of the rail is the harnessing of raw materials, mineral resources and agricultural produce. When completed, it will serve domestic industries and play the role of a viable transportation backbone to the West African subregion, starting with the neighbouring Niger Republic for their export and import logistic chain.’
Recall that the Federal Government approved $1.96 billion for the development of the railway on Wednesday, 23rd September 2020 during the Federal Executive Council meeting.
It also revealed that the railway will go through Kano-Jigawa-Jibia-Maradi in the Niger Republic.