Buhari to perform groundbreaking of Kano-Maradi railway construction Tuesday

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to conduct the groundbreaking for the commencement of the construction of the 284 km Kano-Maradi standard gauge rail project.

Though many have questioned the rationale behind the attention government has given to this rail route, the Minister of Transportation, Hon Rotimi Amaechi, has reaffirmed that the Kano-Maradi rail line “is crucial to the overall railway development in Nigeria and the sub-region and therefore when completed, it represents the last section of the corridor that connects Lagos-Kano and subsequently to the Republic of Niger, through the border town of Maradi.

“The Project which is a standard gauge railway line of about 284km traverses Kano-Dambatta-Kazaure-Daura-Mashi-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradi in the Niger Republic.

“The line has been designed to pass close to major cities, town and villages without dividing them to facilitate public transportation and to stimulate the development of the agricultural economy and manufacturing industries along the corridor as well reduce the cost development.”

According to a statement made available to newsmen by MrsTaiye Elebiyo-Edeni, the Media Assistant to the Minister, “the project is planned to have a total of 15 stations including Maradi, two main stations in Kano and Katsina.

“Three medium stations in Kazaure, Daura and Jibiya, three small stations in Shagalle, Dambatta and Mashi, with other Halt stations at the Airport, Kunya Dube, Muduru, Daddara, Anoal Mata and Maradi.

Amaechi said the rail line which has a branch line to Kano-Dutse is important because of its potential in harnessing raw materials and agro products along the corridor.

“The project when completed will serve domestic industries and play the role of a viable transportation backbone, linking countries in the West Africa sub-region starting with the neighbouring Niger Republic for their import and export logistics chain.

“In the process, the volume of trade in the country will increase while promoting the realisation of Nigeria’s interest in the Africa Free Trade Single Market Area formulation.

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“The railway will account for average freight carriage forecast of 1,043,980.5 tons annually in the first 10years of operation within its short corridor and a forecast of average passenger traffic of 3,543,637.9 annually within the same period.

“A geometrical increase in this service is expected when it is linked to the South Nigeria port of Apapa, Tin-can Island and Warri is realised by the construction of Lagos-Kano and Abuja-Itakpe respectively to the average forecast of 2.2Million tons annually and passenger traffic of average of 5.1million,” the statement stated.

The Minister further said the main agricultural crops grown in commercial quantity along the corridor are groundnuts, cassava, yam, potatoes, millet, maize, rice, beans, as food crops and livestock include cattle, sheep, goat and poultry.

“The total population of the three states concerned by the new line which is Kano, Katsina and Maradi has 19,563,874 inhabitants in 2006 and was estimated at 22,166,543 in 2010, which by the estimated annual growth rate of 2.7 per cent will amount to 28,933,988 in 2020 which represents 14 per cent of the total population of Nigeria.”

The Minister of transportation of Niger Republic, Governors, Ambassadors, Ministers, of both countries and other important stakeholders in the sector are expected to attend the occasion.

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Buhari to perform groundbreaking of Kano-Maradi railway construction Tuesday

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