The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Thursday explained the scope of the Kano-Katsina-Jibia-Maradi railway line, debunking impression in some quarters that the country finance a project in the territory of the neighbouring Niger Republic.
Shehu, in a number of tweets on his verified Twitter handle, said the Nigerian end of the rail line would terminate at the country’s end of the border with Niger.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC), on Wednesday, approved $1.96 billion for a rail project, starting from Kano and terminating at Maradi.
According to the spokesman, Nigeria and the Niger Republic signed an agreement in 2015 to build a track from their ends, explaining that the two works, named the ‘Kano-Katsina-Maradi Corridor Master Plan (K2M)”, would meet at the border.
“Nigeria isn’t building rail line into Niger but, only to the designated Border point,” Shehu said. “An agreement between Nigeria and Niger in 2015, coordinated by the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission for Cooperation has a plan for “Kano-Katsina-Maradi Corridor Master Plan, (K2M)” as it is called.
“Going by this, the two nations would each build a rail track to meet at the border town of Maradi.
“Nigerian delegates to that meeting comprised officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Boundaries Commission, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Water Resources as well as those of Kano & Katsina states.
“The objective of the rail is the harnessing of raw materials, mineral resources and agricultural produce.
“When completed, it will serve domestic industries and play the role of a a viable transportation backbone to the West African subregion, starting with the neighboring Niger Republic for their export and import logistic chain,”Shehu said.