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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Nigeria not constructing rail line to Niger Republic but border town -Presidency

 


The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity , Garba Shehu, on Thursday said Nigeria was not building any rail line to Niger Republic .


He said the plan was to construct the rail line up to the border Nigeria shares with the neighbouring country and not into the country itself .


The Minister of Transportation , Rotimi Amaechi, had told State House correspondents 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 reporters .


The announcement generated reactions from stakeholders and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party that accused the government of misplaced priority .


But Shehu , in a series of tweets posted on his Twitter handle , @ GarShehu , on Thursday, claimed 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. ”

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