By Nats Odaudu
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday expressed his excitement over the commencement of construction activities on the Kano – Kaduna Segment of the Lagos – Kano Railway Modernization project.
This was at the proposed site of the Kano Railway Station, Kano adjacent to the Dala Inland Dry Port, where he presided over the ground breaking ceremony.
He said the he take-off of construction activities on this segment vividly represents the commitment of his Administration in the revival of Nigerian Railway system, which will reduce the deficiency in Nigeria’s transportation infrastructure and drive effective and more efficient transportation of passengers and freight within the country.
“This signifies signifies an important milestone of the construction of the third segment, having completed and commenced commercial operation on the first segment Abuja – Kaduna and recently the second segment Lagos – Ibadan. This project is crucial to the establishment of a supply chain in railway transport within its corridor, Kano – Kaduna – Abuja, as it links the majorcommercial cities of Kano and Kaduna to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja,” the President emphasised.
President Buhari for the upteenth time was full of praise for the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi who he described as being focused and resolved on that which represents the drive of this Administration in railway infrastructure development. He also commended his team both in the Ministry and other project implementation partners that are contributing to this national effort.
Meanwhile the Minister Amaechi explained that the project will no doubt improve the standard of living of citizens within its corridor, create employment and promote trade.
He said in the long term the railway will help decongest the Lagos Port Complex and increase its efficiency as well as further increase the viability of the Inland Dry Ports located in Ibadan, Kaduna and Kano.
“The rail line is also provided with accessories and special installations including Power and Water Supply schemes, Signalling System & Communication in GSM-R, Freight yards, Rolling stock depots and maintenance workshops.
” I am pleased to inform you that the Ministry is finalizing plans to commence construction of the remaining addendum; Ibadan – Abuja to complete the entire stretch of the Lagos – Kano Railway Modernization project, the first of the modernization project in the 25-Year Strategic Vision plan of the Federal Government to revitalize our hitherto moribund railway transport subsector. “
He assured that the Federal Ministry of Transportation will continue to work assiduously in line with Mr. President’s directives, to implement all the corridors within the Nigeria Railway ‘Modernization project and
progressively expand the railway network.
Having delivered Abuja – Kaduna and Lagos – Ibadan Railway Project the remaining stretch of Ibadan – Kano which traverses Oyo, Osun, Kwara, Niger, Abuja, Kaduna and Kano has been, segmented as follows:
I. Kaduna – Kano segment
II. Ibadan – Minna Segment
III. Minna – Abuja Segment
The scope of the railway project involves 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.
This project will link the Federal Capital, Abuja with the Commercial city of Kano and also link the ongoing Kano – Maradi project. The outstanding addendum, Ibadan – Abuja, will link the Sea Ports in Lagos to Maradi, Niger Republic.
This will greatly boost trade between the two countries and foster economic development. This railway line, will present an opportunity for Nigerians to traverse between Abuja and Kano via Kaduna with relative ease.