Nigeria Not Constructing Rail Line to Niger – FG

Nigeria’s Federal Government has explained the country is not set to construct a railway line to the Niger Republic, rather the rail line is to terminate a town bordering both countries.

This was disclosed on Thursday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

Garba explained that the FG’s plan is to construct a rail line up to the border Nigeria shares with the neighbouring country and not into the country itself.

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Shehu in a series of tweets posted on his official Twitter handle, @GarShehu, on Thursday, stated that Nigeria would only construct the rail line to the border it shares with Niger Republic in Maradi.

The presidential aide wrote, “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 and Investment, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Water Resources as well as those of Kano and 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 Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, announced on Wednesday that the Federal Executive Council approved $1.96bn for the construction of a rail line to link Kano, Dutse, Katsina and Maradi in Niger Republic.

“The second one (approval) is the award of contract for the development of the proposed Kano-Katsina-Jibia to Matadi rail line in Niger Republic and to Dutse, the capital of Jigawa, for a total cost of $1,959,744,723.71, inclusive of 7.5% VAT,” Amaechi had told news men.

The announcement however, generated series of backlashes from stakeholders and the opposition People’s Democratic Party, accusing the government of misplaced priorities.

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Written by Tare Magbei

Tare Magbei is a media practitioner with Daily Report Nigeria.

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