The Nation (Nigeria)
Work begins on 203-kilometre 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.