Federal Government approves $1.2bn new railway line contract for Kano, Kaduna

By February 1, 2017 Investment News

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the construction of the new Kano – Kaduna railway line at the cost of $1.2 billion, Rotimi Ameachi, minister of transport, says.

Already, the Federal Government is negotiating with China EXIM Bank and it is expected that the negotiation will end this year to pave way for work on the project to commence.

Ameachi disclosed this during a visit to Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State while explaining the rationale behind the project, saying: “I think the President is doing that because the economy of Kano is also large in the country, and between Kano and Lagos, we have about a total of 30 million tons of freight, and that will help in conveying some of them to Abuja, while we extend the construction to Lagos.”

The minister further said that the Lagos – Kano rail (narrow gauge) would have more locomotives before June 2017, stressing that “we are trying to bring in about 100 locomotives to move between Lagos – Kano – Funtua and Port Harcourt – Gombe.”

The flurry of activities around this initiative, he noted, would greatly impact on Kano and reverberate on the national economy.

The minister then commended the government of Kano for embarking on the construction of several new roads and other infrastructure, despite challenging economic conditions, to such an extent that some states cannot pay salaries of workers, describing the effort of the Ganduje administration as very encouraging.

In his remark, Governor Ganduje, who acknowledged the importance of the rail project, said his administration was also fine tuning moves to commence the Kano intra-city light rail project.

The total value of the project, entailing four routes, which will all terminate at Bata Roundabout in the city, near the Kano Central business district, is the sum of $1.85 million. About 85 percent of the total contract sum would be sourced from China EXIM Bank while the state government would offset the balance of 15 percent.

“The rail project would save our roads and improve movement of goods and services in Kano, which is the commercial nerve centre of Northern Nigeria, and parts of West Africa,” the governor said.

Source: Business Day