The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, yesterday hinted that the proposed Kano-Kaduna railway project would greatly boost trade as well as present the opportunity for Nigerians to traverse between Abuja and Kano via Kaduna with relative ease.
Amaechi, in his remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony of the project at Zawaciki, Kudu Local Government Area of Kano State, noted that the project is part of the third and outstanding segment of the Lagos-Kano railway modernisation project.
The minister stated that the first segment-Abuja-Kaduna railway line-was flagged off for commercial operation in July 2016, and just recently, the second segment, the Lagos-Ibadan railway line, was launched for commercial operation precisely on June 10, 2021.
According to him, “Succinctly speaking, having delivered the Abuja-Kaduna and Lagos-Ibadan railway project, the remaining stretch of Ibadan- Kano, which traverses Oyo, Osun, Kwara, Niger, Abuja, Kaduna and Kano States, has been segmented as follows: Kaduna- Kano segment; Ibadan-Minna segment,and Minna- Abuja segment.”
He said the scope of the railway project involves a 203.8km double track standard gauge railway from Kano to Kaduna.
According to him, “The railway along this route traverses the major cities of Kaduna, Zaria and Kano with three railway stations both for passenger and freight services at Rigachukun, Zaria and Kano, with varying capacities and categories.
“This project will link Abuja with the commercial city of Kano and also link the ongoing Kano-Maradi project. The outstanding addendum, the Ibadan-Abuja project, will link the sea ports in Lagos to Maradi in 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.”
Amaechi added that the project would no doubt improve the standard of living of the people within its corridor; create employment and promote trade. In the long term, the railway, he added, would 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.
He further stated that the rail line is also provided with accessories and special installations, including power and water supply schemes, signaling system and communication in GSM-R, freight yards, rolling stock depots and maintenance workshops.
“I am pleased to inform you that the ministry is finalising 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 modernisation project in the 25-Year Strategic Vision plan of the federal government to revitalise our hitherto moribund railway transport subsector,” he stated.
Amaechi, however, thanked the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) Nigeria Limited, the project contractor, for its professionalism and astuteness in the construction of the railway infrastructure, and also TEAM Nigeria Limited for their supervisory role during the course of the construction and indeed all the partners in the project.
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