From Desmond Mgboh, Kano
Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amechi, Friday, announced that works on the Kano – Kaduna angle of the $8.3 billion Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project would kick off latest by July, 2021.
The Minister disclosed this during a courtesy call on the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, noting that when completed, the state will automatically become a hub for the railway sector.
He predicted that the project would lead to increase in trading activities and traffic of cargoes in the state.
“Whenever we link the Kano end of the rail project to Kaduna and then link Kaduna to Abuja, then you will have the problem of cargoes and you will have to learn how to manage cargoes that would come to Kano. And like you know, we are still linking Kano railway to Maradi” he stated.
He recalled that he had earlier rejected the construction of a smaller station in the state and had insisted on something similar to that of Lagos, which would the capacity to process the volume of cargoes and the quantum of human traffic that would be flowing in and out of the station.
“Kano is important to Nigeria and Kano is also important to the railway sector and we are trying to see how to bring maritime into Kano despite the fact that you don’t have rivers” he declared.
“We also believe that the state government has the capacity to protect the projects, that government has the capacity to protect the structures and the capacity to respond to the need of users and possibly the Federal Ministry of Transport when we need your attention” said Ameachi.
In his response, Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje disclosed that the state government has since opened up talks with the chambers of commerce in Niger and Chad Republics as well as in northern Cameron. to take advantage of the new railway.
“With what the presidents has done to Kano in the area of rail communication from Lagos to Ibadan, down to Kano, and from Kano to Katsina and to Maradi and from Kano to Dutse, Mr. President is making Kano the true commercial nerve center of not just Northern Nigeria but some West African countries” he stated.