President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, February, 9, flagged off the $1.9 billion Nigeria-Niger rail project. The ground-breaking ceremony of the Kano – Dutse – Jibia (Katsina State} – Maradi 284 Km rail project connecting Kano in Nigeria to Maradi in Niger Republic was performed virtually by Mr. Presiden. At the event, President Buhari said the rail project further strengthens his administration’s commitment to improving the transport sector and promoting economic activities. He said the rail line traverses the major commercial and administrative centre of Kano and passing through other economic hubs of the country including Kazaure, Daura, Katsina, and up to the border town of Jibiya and the Niger Republic city of Maradi.
The $1.96 billion project was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in September 2020.
The project is being executed by Mota-Engil Group, a multinational engineering, and construction company.
“The cities of Jibiya and Maradi constitute a significant trading core between Nigeria and the Niger Republic – a tradition dating back many centuries,” he said.
“This vital infrastructure line will establish an end-to-end logistic supply chain in railway transport services between northern and southern regions of the country, reaching Nigerian southern ports of Lagos and Warri.
“The Kano–Maradi rail line has been identified as a viable line that will significantly enhance the movement of passengers and freight to the hinterland, especially raw materials from both agricultural and mineral resources for our industries.
“The project, when completed, would serve the import and export of goods to the Niger Republic and other countries in the sub-region through Nigerian ports. The country would earn revenue through expansion of trade and commerce, while the people of Niger Republic will benefit from the ease of transportation logistics at an affordable cost in their import and export business.
“The connection to the Niger Republic through rail will also foster Trans-Sahara trade and contribute to the expected gains in the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.”