The Federal Government has reiterated that the Nigeria-Niger Republic rail line will boost trade and other socio-economic interactions between both countries and on the continent.
Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, said this during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the project between Nigeria and the Republic of Niger in Abuja.
Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation signed for Nigeria while the Minister of Transportation of the Republic of Niger, Alma Oumarou, signed for his country.
According to Sambo, the rail line, will facilitate the realisation of the objectives of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement which Nigeria and Niger Republic are signatories.
” I am aware that people have blood relationships across borders so the project will expand the historical and cultural relationship between the people of Nigeria and those of the Niger Republic.
”The project is also very important in enhancing inter-nation and continental trade,” the minister added.
On the implementation of the project, the minister said a Technical Committee would be set up within seven days in accordance with Article 3 of the MoU.
He said nomination of members and inauguration of the Technical Committee would be concluded by the first week of February.
According to Sambo, the Technical Committee, after their inauguration, will take charge of the facilitation and implementation of the project.
Earlier, the Minister of Transportation of the Republic of Niger, corroborated that the rail project would promote inter-nation as well as continental trade between the two countries.
Oumarou said the project would also strengthen cultural ties between the two countries and create more jobs.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Dr Magdalene Ajani, who said work had been ongoing on the Kano-Maradi rail line for the past two years, added that the signing of the MoU would expedite the completion of the project.