- The TUC has lambasted the federal government for its decision to build a rail line to the Niger Republic
- The labour group described the FG's decision as an insult, saying there are other priorities the government should focus on
- The TUC also called on the FG to be prudent in managing the country's limited resources
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One of Nigeria's labour organisations, Trade Union Congress (TUC) has condemned the federal government's approval of $1.96 billion for the construction of a rail line from Kano-Katsina-Jibia to Maradi in the Niger Republic.
The TUC made its position known on Thursday, September 24, via a statement signed by its president, Comrade Quadri Olaleye, and the secretary-general, Comrade Musa-Lawal Ozigi.
Vanguard reported that the labour group said the decision to construct a rail line to the Niger Republic was an insult to Nigerians and a waste of scarce resources.
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The statement read in part:
“The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria has described the Federal Government’s approval for the construction of a rail line linking Nigeria to Niger Republic as an insult and waste of our scarce resources.
“By this latest move, it has indeed become obvious to the world that the managers of our country have ulterior and sinister motives: to ruin this country.
“The Congress is not averse to development. Constructing rail lines to Kano, Katsina and Dutse is understandable; but why extend it to Niger Republic? Why should we borrow from the IMF, World Bank and China to build a rail line to the Niger Republic? "
The TUC said there are many priorities which the Nigerian government should focus on rather than wasting the country's limited resources on the Niger rail project.
The union also called on the federal government to stop playing big brother to other African countries at the expense of Nigerians.
However, an earlier report by Legit.ng indicated that the Nigerian government has denied reports that it is planning to build a rail line into the Niger Republic.
A presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu on Thursday, September 24, disclosed that the plan was to construct the rail line up to the border Nigeria shares with Niger and not into the country itself.
In another report, the minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has said the federal government’s focus on railway and seaport development is a necessity to drive the nation’s economy.
Amaechi made this known on Sunday, September 20, at the virtual 15th Annual Kaleidoscope Global Business Conference hosted by the Consulate General of Nigeria in New York.
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