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Kano/Mardi rail: Contractor to build Varsity in Rivers

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Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi announced that the contractor in charge of the construction of the Kano-Maradi rail line that would terminate in Niger Republic, would build a university in his home state in Rivers.

Amaechi, who was a two-term governor of the state, said the company would build the university as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility to Nigeria.

“We already have a Transportation University being built in Daura. So, we have decided that the Portugese Company in charge of Kano-Maradi rail line, Mota Engil will build a Multi-disciplinary University in Rivers State as a major component of their Corporate Social Responsibility,” the minister tweeted on Monday.

Amaechi had revealed on Sunday that the $1.95bn needed to construct the Kano-Maradi standard gauge rail project would be sourced from Europe and President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to flag off the project which begins on Tuesday, virtually from Aso Villa in Abuja.

On how long it will take the country to repay the loan, the 58-year-old explained that it is not within the jurisdiction of his ministry but said that the railway project will commence on Tuesday.

“That is the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance. When we would pay; what are the terms of agreement for the loan and all that would be the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance,” the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain added.

“So, that question can be directed to the Minister for Finance. For us in Transportation, our job is to work with the Ministry of Finance to procure the loan and commence construction and we think we would commence construction on Tuesday.”

The Kano-Maradi rail line connects Nigeria and Niger Republic. The 248-kilometre line is expected to aid the transportation of crude oil which the government had announced that it would commence importation of, from the West African country.

But the Peoples Democratic Party and many Civil Society Organisations had described the project as a misplacement of priority.

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