- The minister of transportation is addressing the FG's reason for embarking on the Kano-Maradi railway
- Rotimi Amaechi revealed that he had to personally plead with the Nigerien Government before they allowed Nigeria to construct the railway
- Amaechi explained that the railway project was to ensure that Niger resumes importing and exporting through Nigeria
Rotimi Amaechi, Nigeria's minister of transportation has opened up on how the federal government begged to construct the $1.95bn railway from Kano state into Maradi, Niger Republic.
Amaechi during an interview on Channels Television’s ‘News Night’ programme on Monday, March 29, stated he personally had to travel to Niger Republic to beg its government.
According to the minister, Nigeria is bearing the full cost of the railway project which is expected to run from Kano to Dutse- Katsina through Jibia and end at Maradi in the Niger Republic.
The former Rivers state governor went on to note that he was even accused of serving the interests of the north even though his wife is Igbo.
Amaechi explained that it was so important to extend the rail to Maradi because Niger Republic is a landlocked country and has to rely on entrepot trade which means it has to export and import through intermediary countries.
He argued that the new rail would help Nigeria to expand its economy and compete as Niger Republic and Chad preferred exporting and importing their goods through Benin Republic, Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Togo.
It would be recalled that the federal government has approved the use of $5.3 billion for the construction of the Ibadan to Kano rail line project.
This was confirmed on Thursday, September 12, 2020, by the minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
The president stated that the completion of the Kano-Maradi rail line, will amongst other outcomes, create revenue for Nigeria, and enable the people of Niger Republic to enjoy affordable transportation.
He made the comment while performing a virtual groundbreaking ceremony for the standard gauge rail line.