From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Despite the controversy trailing Kano-Maradi standard gauge railway line, the Federal Government, in its bid to link the whole country by rail, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mota-Engil Group on the construction of the US$1.959 billion railway project.
While the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, signed on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Managing Director, Mota-Engil, Antonio Gvoea, signed on behalf of the contracting firm in Abuja on Monday.
The new railway corridor which is to be located in northern Nigeria will run through three states: Kano, Jigawa and Katsina and through Niger territory as far as Maradi.
The statement issued by the Director, Press & Public Relations, Eric Ojiekwe, noted that other cities that will be affected by the rail line in Nigeria are: Danbatta, Kazaure, Daura, Mashi, Katsina and Jibiya.
The 283.750-kilometre rail line, besides developing freight and passenger transport, will make a great contribution to the local economy as well as an important development in the social sector.
The project duration is for 36 months and the contract type is Engineering, Procurement and Construction.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr Magdalene Ajani and the Director, Legal Services, Pius Oteh, the Managing Director, Mota-Engil Group, Antonio Gvoea, Head of Legal, Mota-Engil Group, Cameron Beverley, Magajin Garin Kano, Muhammad Wada, Director, Mota-Engil Group, Kola Abdulkarim, Vice President, Mota-Engil Group. Mohammed Abdul-Razaq, Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Yusfu Tuggar, the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala-Usman among other dignitaries.