The Presidency has shone light on the report of Nigeria building a rail line to Niger Republic.
The announcement by Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had approved $1.96 billion for the construction of a rail line to link Kano, Dutse, Katsina and Maradi in Niger Republic sparked outrage with most commentators taking a swipe at the federal government.
The Presidency through Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, via his verified Twitter handle, @GarShehu, said the project would be funded by Nigeria and her West African neighbour.
The tweet: “Nigeria isn’t building rail line into Niger but, only to the designated Border point.
“An agreement between Nigeria and Niger in 2015, coordinated by the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission for Cooperation has a plan for “Kano-Katsina-Maradi Corridor Master Plan, (K2M)” as it is called.
“Going by this, the two nations would each build a rail track to meet at the border town of Maradi.
“Nigerian delegates to that meeting comprised officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Boundaries Commission, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Water Resources as well as those of Kano & Katsina states.
“The objective of the rail is the harnessing of raw materials, mineral resources and agricultural produce.
“When completed, it will serve domestic industries and play the role of a a viable transportation backbone to the West African subregion, starting with the neighboring Niger Republic for their export and import logistic chain.”