The Nation (Nigeria)

Work begins on 203-kilometre Kano

- From Fanen Ihyongo, Kano

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday flagged off the constructi­on of the Kano Kaduna section of the Lagos Kano Railway modernisat­ion project.

The 203-kilometre Kadunakano standard gauge rail line starts from Kaduna and passes through Jaji, Zaria, Kwakwa, and Madobi to Kano.

The ceremony took place at Zwawaciki, Dawakin Kudu Local Government Area in Kano.

Buhari noted that the revival of the railway system would not only drive the nation’s economy but reduce transporta­tion infrastruc­ture deficit.

His words: "The groundbrea­king for the Kano - Kaduna segment of the Lagos Kano railway modernisat­ion project signifies an important milestone of the constructi­on of the third segment, having completed and commenced commercial operation on the first segment Abuja Kaduna and recently the second segment Lagos Ibadan.

"This project is crucial to the establishm­ent of a supply chain in railway transport within its corridor, Kano Kaduna - Abuja, as it links the major commercial cities of Kano and Kaduna to the Federal Capital Territory.

“This administra­tion recognises rail transporta­tion as a potent economic driver and as such, has accorded railway infrastruc­ture developmen­t the greatest priority it deserves and it is not surprising that several landmarks have been achieved, from the Flag-off for commercial operation of Abuja Kaduna railway in 2016 to the recent commission­ing of the Lagos

Ibadan railway project on June 10, 2021, thereby maintainin­g the pace for the actualisat­ion of this vital thoroughfa­re.”

Buhari added that the rail connection, when completed, would establish the ports in Lagos, as the choice for import and export business of the people of the landlocked Niger Republic.

"This would positively drive our economies through employment from new business opportunit­ies and wealth creation," the President said.

He also hinted that the ministries of Transporta­tion and Finance were working towards engaging co-financiers to partner the government on the developmen­t of the Ibadan Kano rail line.

Buhari also explained that the rail line would be linked to the Tin Can Island Port to enable the Inland Dry Port on the routes receive imports directly from the internatio­nal market.

The President commended Minister of Transporta­tion Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi for “his focus and resolve that represents the drive of this administra­tion in railway infrastruc­ture developmen­t.”

Amaechi said the scope of the railway project involves a 203-kilometre double track standard gauge railway from Kano to Kaduna.

He added: “The railway along this route traverses the major cities of Kaduna, Zaria and Kano with three railway stations both for passenger and freight services at Rigachukun, Zaria and Kano with varying capacities and categories.

“This project will link the Federal Capital, Abuja with the commercial

Kaduna rail line

city of Kano and also link the ongoing Kano - Maradi project. The outstandin­g addendum, Ibadan - Abuja, will link the Sea Ports in Lagos to Maradi, Niger Republic.

The Chairman of Northern Governors Forum, Simon Lalong, commended Buhari “for keeping to his promises.”

Kano Governor Abdullahi Ganduje also applauded the President for the foresight of his government in reviving the rail system.

He pointed out that Kano, as a commercial nerve centre in the North, stands to benefit a lot.

“The execution of this project is a clear indication of federal government’s commitment in promoting commerce and creating more job opportunit­ies,” Ganduje said.

Buhari at Emir’s palace, hails Ganduje

Before the ceremony, Buhari paid homage to the Emir of Kano Aminu Ado Bayero.

He urged other state governors to emulate Governor Umar Ganduje's “policy of continuity.”

"I am delighted the way Governor Ganduje is developing Kano State. I am also happy with his continuity policy. I have seen a number of projects of previous administra­tions which he has completed,” he said.

The Emir called on the President to intensify efforts in tackling the nation’s security and economic challenges.

He told Buhari that Nigerians were facing untold hardship because of the high cost of commoditie­s, insisting that government should do everything possible to control inflation.

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