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By Emmanuel Daudu, Kano

The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has assured President Muhammadu Buhari of his total commitment and that of his ministry to Mr. President’s vision for strong and sustainable railway transportation across the country.

Amaechi made the statement publicly at the groundbreaking ceremony of Kaduna-Kano Standard Gauge Rail Line in Zawaciki, Dawakin Kudu Local Government Area of Kano State on Thursday while giving his speech.

“Mr. President, your administration has exhibited strong will in driving the overhaul of our railway system through your intervention and support. The Ministry remains committed to your vision for a strong and sustainable railway transportation backbone to engender and facilitate a new path to
the positive economic transformation of the country.

“The Federal Ministry of Transportation will continue to work assiduously in line with Mr. President’s directives, to implement all the corridors within the Nigeria Railway ‘Modernization project and progressively expand the railway network”.

Speaking further, Amaechi pointed out that the project will no doubt improve the standard of living of citizens within its corridor, create employment and promote trade, stressing that In the long term the railway will help decongest the Lagos Port Complex and increase its efficiency as well as further increase the viability of the Inland Dry Ports located in Ibadan, Kaduna, and Kano.

However, it is worthy of note that the Kano – Kaduna railway project is a part of the third and outstanding segment of the Lagos-Kano railway modernization project. The first segment, Abuja – Kaduna Railway line, was flagged-off for commercial operation in July 2016 and just recently, the second segment, Lagos – Ibadan railway line was commissioned for
commercial operation precisely on June 10, 2021.

“Succinctly speaking, having delivered Abuja – Kaduna, and Lagos -Ibadan Railway Project the remaining stretch of Ibadan – Kano which traverses Oyo, Osun, Kwara, Niger, Abuja, Kaduna, and Kano has been, segmented as follows: Kaduna – Kano segment, Ibadan – Minna Segment, Minna – Abuja Segment, the scope of the railway project involves a 203km double track standard gauge railway from Kano to Kaduna. The railway along this route traverses the major cities of Kaduna, Zaria, and Kano with three (3) 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 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. This I believe will greatly boost trade between the two countries and foster economic development. This railway line will present an opportunity for Nigerians to traverse between Abuja and Kano via Kaduna with relative ease”.

Giving superficial details on the facilities of the rail, he said, the rail line is provided with accessories and special installations including Power and Water Supply schemes, Signalling systems & Communication in GSM-R, Freight yards, Rolling stock depots, and maintenance workshops.

“The Ministry is finalizing plans to commence construction of the remaining addendum; Ibadan – Abuja to complete the entire stretch of the Lagos – Kano Railway Modernization project, the first of the modernization project in the 25-Year Strategic Vision plan of the Federal Government to revitalize our hitherto moribund railway transport subsector”.

Amaechi thanked Messrs. China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) Nigeria Limited, the project contractor for their professionalism and astuteness in the construction of the railway infrastructure, Messrs. TEAM Nigeria Limited for their supervisory role during the course of construction, and indeed all the partners this project.

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