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Forum counters Tofa, backs Kano light rail project

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Kano Integrity and Justice Forum (KIJF), an independent organisation of elder statesmen, has thrown its weight behind the state government’s light rail transit project in Kano.


 


KIJF’s position, which comes after the Bashir Tofa-led group kicked against the project, was contained in a communique issued at the end of a one-day seminar, which held at Bristol Palace Hotel, Kano, with a view to obtaining private and public responses on the project.


 


The communique, which was jointly signed by the chairman and secretary, Prof Abdu Salihi and Dr Garba Shehu respectively, indicated that Kano is a major commercial and industrial centre in Nigeria and hence, the need for the development of its transportation infrastructure to cope with increasing demand.

 


“This decision is the right one considering all that has been examined in this seminar, where it was shown that Kano cannot afford to be lagging behind in these global trends taking place, whereby cities (some even lesser population and resources than Kano) are making efforts at upgrading their transport infrastructure to be in-tune with the 21st century,’’ the communique added.


 


Recently, the Kano Elder Forum, led by former presidential candidate, Bashir Tofa, had kicked against the project, which they insisted would rather incur the state with more liability than the perceived merit.


 


The integrity group, however, is silent on the cost of the project, estimated at $1.8 billion, which the Tofa group is worried about. KIJF suggested that the state should explore Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model with some firms like Dangote Group or a consortium of local financiers.





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