Nigeria is not building Rail Line in Niger Republic - Garba Shehu

Rotimi Amaechi the Minister of Transportation announced that a rail line will be constructed  to link Kano, Duste, Kastina and Maradi in Niger Republic. The Federal Executive Council approved $1.96bn for the project. On Wednesday he told reporters:

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,”

After fierce criticism, Shehu Garba, the senior special assistant to the president of media and publicity on his twitter handle @GarShehu attempted to clear the air on the issue. He tweeted:

“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 neighboring Niger Republic for their export and import logistic chain”.

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