By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
KANO: President Muhammadu Buhari, Thursday performed the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kaduna-Kano segment of the Lagos-Kano railway modernisation project.
The event took place at the proposed site of the Kano Railway Station at Zawaciki, Kano which is also adjacent to the Dala Inland Dry Port.
In his remarks, President Buhari noted that the groundbreaking ceremony for Kano – Kaduna segment of the Lagos – Kano railway modernization project, 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.
He pointed out that the project is crucial to the establishment of a supply chain in railway transport within its corridor, Kano – Kaduna -Abuja, as it links the major commercial cities of Kano and Kaduna to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
He further noted that upon completion, Kaduna – Kano railway project is to link the Lagos – Ibadan Railway project via Abuja, Minna, Ilorin, Oshogbo, Ibadan to Lagos on one end, and Maradi, Niger Republic on the other.
The President also disclosed that the railway connection, when completed, will establish the ports in Lagos, as the choice for import and export business of the people of landlocked Niger Republic, and would positively drive Nigeria’s economies through employment from new business opportunities and wealth creation.
He commended the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, for his focus and resolve, which he said, represents the drive of this Administration in railway infrastructure development.
Earlier in his remarks, the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, explained that the scope of the railway project involves a 203km double track standard gauge railway from Kano to Kaduna.
The railway along this route, he said, traverses the major cities of Kaduna, Zaria and Kano with three (3) railway stations both for passenger and freight services at Rigachikun, Zaria and Kano with varying capacities and categories.
In his words, “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 I believe 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 through Kaduna with relative ease.
He pledge that the Federal Ministry of Transportation will continue to work assiduously in line with the President’s directives, to implement all the corridors within the Nigeria Railway ‘Modernization project’ and progressively expand the railway network.
The Minister thanked Messrs. China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) Nigeria Limited, the project contractor for their professionalism and astuteness in the construction of the railway infrastructure, and Messrs. TEAM Nigeria Limited for their supervisory role during the course of construction and all the partners of the project.
The Kaduna-Kano rail line is expected to connect Kaduna-Jaji-Zaria-Kwakwa-Madobi and terminate at Kano.
The groundbreaking event had in attendance Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Plateau State governor, Simon Along, Ministers, Members of the National Assembly, Governors, traditional rulers, local government Chairmen as well as other dignitaries.