From Desmond Mgboh, Kano
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday commissioned the flag off of construction activities of the 203 kilometres Kano-Kaduna Segment of the Lagos-Kano Railway Modernisation project.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, held at Zawaciki, in Dawakin Kudu Local Government Area of the state, President Buhari said that the take-off of the project vividly represents the commitment of his administration towards the revival of the Nigerian Railway system.
He indicated that the project would reduce existing deficiencies in Nigeria’s transportation infrastructure as well as result in an effective and a more efficient passengers and freight transportation system within the country.
‘This project is crucial to the establishment of a supply chain in railway transport within its corridor, Kano – Kaduna – Abuja, as it links the major commercial cities of Kano and Kaduna to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja,’ he added
The president further maintained that upon completion, the railway project would link the Lagos – Ibadan Railway project via Abuja, Minna, Ilorin, Oshogbo, Ibadan to Lagos on one end, and Maradi, the Niger Republic on the other.
He added that when completed, the railway connection would establish the ports in Lagos, as the choice for import and export business of the people of the landlocked Niger Republic.
This would positively drive our economies through employment from new business opportunities and wealth creation, the president added
‘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, he stated.
He recognised transportation as a potent economic driver, saying it underscored the position of priority accorded to railway infrastructure development by his administration.
In his remarks, Minister of Transportation Rotimi Ameachi disclosed that the scope of the railway project involved 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,’ he stated
He said that the project would improve the standard of living of citizens within its corridor, create employment and promote trade.
He tasked the construction company and the project consultant to ensure the completion of the project within the 18-month timeline specified in the contract while insisting that the project must be commissioned by President Buhari.
In attendance at the event were the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and the Chairman of Progressive Governors Forum, Governor Simon Lalong.
Governor Ganduje, in his remarks, expressed gratitude to President Buhari for the numerous projects and appointments extended to the people of Kano State while pledging the goodwill and support of the people of Kano.