The Federal Government has expressed optimism that the Kano-Kaduna railway will be completed and ready for inauguration in Dec. 2022.
Mr Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, while inspecting the level of progress on the project in Kano, said that it would be commissioned before President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office.
Amaechi noted that so far, the Federal Government had invested more than 400 million dollars for the actualisation of the project.
The minister, however, urged the facilitator of the project, the CCECC, to increase the number of equipment and personnel on site in order to ensure the deadline was met.
“We are here basically to find out whether these guys have commenced work and how far they have gone.
“This is because they have a target of completing this thing at the end of next year or in the first quarter,’’ he said.
According to him, the cabinet decided that instead of a single track recommended by China, we should continue with the double track we had done on Lagos-Ibadan.
“And the cabinet is bigger than me, I cannot overrule neither can the Chinese contractor also overrule. Luckily for us, they are doing the formation as double track, so we will just include the track laying to conclude the contract.
“This will certainly affect the cost in terms of just the track but not the civil works.’’
On claims of pending compensation, Amaechi noted that there was no issue of compensation on the Kano-Maradi route as the land owners had already been compensated before the project commenced.
“Before we started, we made sure everybody has been paid before we even started clearing and that is the first item on implementation strategy of the work.
“That you must first pay the owners of the land, so they don’t come and disturb you when working,’’ Amaechi explained.
The minister then restated that the motive for the construction of the rail project was not for political interest.
“I have told people , don’t politicise railway project, don’t make it look as if there are political motive behind the construction.
“The essence of railway construction is to grow the economy,’’ he added.
The 284km standard gauge railway line is designed to have 15 stations, traverse Kano-Dambatta-Kazaure-Daura-Mashi-katsina-Jibiya-Maradi and would pass close to major cities, towns and villages.
The 15 stations comprise two main stations in Kano and Katsina, three medium stations in Kazaure, Daura and Jibiya, three small stations in Shagalle, Dambatta and Mashi, with other Halt stations at the Airport, Kunya Dube, Muduru, Daddara, Anoal Mata and Maradi.
Upon completion, the project would facilitate public transportation, stimulate the development of the agricultural economy, manufacturing industries along the corridor and reduce the cost.
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