Buhari stated this in Kawachiki, Kano State on Thursday when he preside over the ground breaking ceremony to mark the commencement of construction activities on the Kano–Kaduna Segment of the Lagos–Kano Railway Modernization project at the proposed site of the Kano Railway Station, Kano, adjacent Dala Inland Dry Port.
The President who expressed delight at the ground breaking noted that the railway connection when completed will establish the ports in Lagos, as the choice for import and export business of the people of landlocked Niger Republic, as it would positively drive Nigeria’s economies through employment from new business opportunities and wealth creation.
“The take-off of construction activities on this segment of the Lagos – Kano vividly represents the commitment of this Administration in the revival of Nigerian Railway system, to reduce the deficiency in our transportation infrastructure and drive effective and more efficient transportation of passengers and freight within the country.
“The ground breaking ceremony for Kano-Kaduna segment of the Lagos – Kano railway modernization 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 majorcommercial cities of Kano and Kaduna to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.”
Buhari revealed that the Federal Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Finance are working to engage co-financiers to conclude financial agreements to partner with the Federal Government for the development of the Ibadan – Kano line and to further increase the bankability of the project.
He said the project is in a bid to link the Kaduna – Kano railway project to the Lagos – Ibadan Railway project via Abuja, Minna, Ilorin, Oshogbo, Ibadan to Lagos on one end, and Maradi, Niger Republic on the other.
“The railway line will be linked to the second Port in Lagos, the Tin Can Island Port. It is also expected that the Inland Dry Port on these routes will be activated and the ports can now receive imports directly from the international market as ports of destination such as the Ibadan, Kaduna and Kano Inland Dry Ports.”
He commend the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, for his focus and resolve that represents the drive of the Buhari led administration in railway infrastructure development, and also commend his team both in the Ministry and other project implementation partners that are contributing to this national effort.
Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi earlier in his remarks explained that having delivered Abuja-Kaduna and Lagos-Ibadan Railway Project, the remaining stretch of Ibadan – Kano traverses Oyo, Osun, Kwara, Niger, Abuja, Kaduna and Kano and covers the scope of 203km double track standard gauge railway from Kano to Kaduna.
The Minister noted that 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.
Adding that the project will no doubt improve the standard of living of citizens within its corridor, create employment and promote trade, while in the long term 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.
Amaechi said, “I am pleased to inform you that 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.”
The Minister further said 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.
“Mr. President, your administration has exhibited strong will in driving the overhaul of our railway system through your intervention and suppott. The Ministry remain committed to your vision for a strong and sustainable railway transportation backbone to engender and facilitate a new path to positive economic transformation of the country.
“I would like to thank 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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