The Federal Government has assured that, all things being equal, the Kaduna – Kano Rail corridor will be completed on or before May, 2023.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, gave the indication during an inspection tour to Kano, the city of Commerce.
TheFact Nigeria noted that the minister decried the challenge associated with funding of the rail project,which accounts for the delay in completion of the project.
“We agree that if we fund them, they must complete the work. They must do what they agree that they will do. The conversation we had with them is that they must break this work into parts so that everybody will be working at the same time. If they do that I am sure that before May, 2023 we will have commercial activity on the track”, the Minister said.
Stressing the importance of the route, he said: “The route will be used to convey both passengers and cargos. One of the most economic nerve centers in the country is Kano and Lagos. Why this track is the most economically viable track”.
According to him: “The economic activities that takes place in Kano can be conveyed to Lagos viz a viz those who produce in Lagos can have their products conveyed to Kano. This will create jobs and the cost of land here will not be the same.
“The two states likely to benefit from intra city rail transport are Rivers and Lagos states. The Lagos route terminates in Calabar, the Port Harcourt rail will terminate in Maiduguri because the rail will take part of the city this way and part of the city that way same way with Rivers state. You see. That at a point Lagos Calabar will have to meet with Port Harcourt Railway and run side by side inside some part of these major cities.
“I have never denied that we are having financial challenges and that is because of economic downturn.
“The Chinese are not funding the way they used to do, up till now, we are yet to conclude on loans for this project, so we are funding it from the budget.
We are putting pressure on al the necessary institutions that used to give us funds. And hopefully, before May we will be able to get enough funds to complete this project”.
Meanwhile, the chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has disclosed that the government was encouraging not only the use of local materials, but passing those kind of jobs to Nigerians.
Hear him: “Not just about the economic benefits, it is not good for the Chinese to come here and we borrow 2 billion take the whole profit and go to their country. They should also spend part of it on the country”.