President Muhammadu Buhari has performed the foundation stone laying ceremony for the Kano to Kaduna rail project worth $1.2 billion.
Daily Trust reports that apart from the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kano-Kaduna standard gauge railway line at Zawaciki area of Kano state, the president also commissioned the three-layer Dangi interchange bridge at Zaria road by Zoo road in the metropolis.
Performing the ceremony, he said the project will connect Kano to the Abuja-Kaduna train service and Kaduna to Ibadan and Lagos with a focus on linking the Lagos ports.
“This 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 said upon completion, the “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.”
“This 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. This would positively drive our economies through employment from new business opportunities and wealth creation.”
The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi said the scope of the railway project involves a 203 kilometre double track standard gauge railway from Kano to Kaduna.
“The project will no doubt improve the standard of living of citizens within its corridor, create employment and promote trade.”
Meanwhile Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero appealed to the President to make efforts to address the inflation in the country that has impacted on food security. The monarch, who made the call on Thursday when he received the president at his palace, also appealed to the president to improve the security conditions in the country.
“We call on the president to put more effort into many issues affecting the people of the country, especially on security and cost of living, especially food commodities.
“We hope to see the completion of this project (the Kano-Kaduna standard gauge rail) soon.”
On his part, the president said the visit was necessary because the state governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has done the right thing with the state treasury and wants the people to see.
“I am happy with these projects. These are projects he inherited, but because they are people-centred projects, he was able to complete them and even add his own,” the president said.
The governor said another history has been made in Kano. “The President has come to Kano to commission the ground breaking of the rail line from Kano to Kaduna, which is part of the railway lines between Lagos-Ibadan-Kaduna and Kano,” he said.