The Federal Government has announced the signing of the contract documents for the commencement of the Kano-Maradi, Kano-Dutse railway project with a cheery news that the contractors will build a university as a Corporate Social Responsibility function.
The Federal Government also announced that the project will be delivered within 36 months. This follows the approval of the $1.96 billion by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in September for the rail line which will connect three states namely Kano, Katsina and Jigawa and then terminate in Maradi, Niger Republic.
The Transportation Minister in his statement also revealed that the contractor to the project, Mota-Engil Group, a Multinational Engineering and Construction company, has agreed to build a university as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) while working on the project.
Amaechi in his statement said, ‘’Today, we signed the contract documents for the commencement of the Kano-Maradi, Kano-Dutse railway project. The contractor, Mota-Engil Group, a Multinational Engineering and Construction firm has also agreed to build a University as part of their CSR while working on the project.’’
According to Amaechi, in an earlier interview, the rail line is favourable to Nigeria as it would help the country compete favourably with other coastal countries of West Africa in servicing the landlocked countries around Nigeria in the area of movement of cargoes to make Lagos seaports very viable.
The project, when it was first announced by the federal Government last year, attracted mixed reactions from Nigerians with those against it asking about the economic benefits of linking a railway to Niger Republic that hasn’t been a big trade partner of the country.
But the government insisted that besides developing freight and passenger transport, the integration of the railway with road transport would make a great contribution to the local economy as well as develop the social sector.