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FG shuns Lagos-Calabar, other internal rail scheme, flags off Kano-Niger $1.96bn

Unprecedented criticisms are currently trailing the decision of the Federal government as they signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mota-Engil Group for the construction of the $1.959bn Kano-Maradi (Niger Rep) standard gauge rail project. This is coming barely two weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari has said that “Only God can secure Nigeria-Niger border”.

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, signed on behalf of the Federal Government, while the Managing Director, Mota-Engil, Antonio Gvoea, signed on behalf of the contracting firm.

Already, both Development Activists and pan-Yoruba sociocultural group, Afenifere have kicked against the move, saying that with so much deficit in the country’s transport infrastructure, the government was headed the wrong direction with the rail project. The $1.96bn Kano-Maradi rail line connects Nigeria and Niger Republic.

The Director, Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Eric Ojiekwe, said in a statement issued in Abuja that the new railway corridor, located in Northern Nigeria and Maradi in Niger Republic would run through three states. He outlined the states as include Kano, Jigawa and Katsina, adding that it would go through the territory Niger Republic as far as Maradi. “Other cities that will be affected by the rail line in Nigeria are Danbatta, Kazaure, Daura, Mashi, Katsina and Jibiya,” the FMT said. It added, “The 283.75km rail line, besides developing freight and passenger transport as it will be integrated with road transport, will make great contribution to the local economy.”