Why my government is building railway to Niger Republic – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, explained why his government is building a rail line linking Nigeria with the Niger Republic.

The project has been widely criticised, with some saying it was part of a ‘Fulanisation aganda’.

But the President, during the ground-breaking ceremony of the project, noted that it would foster trans-Sahara trade and contribute to the expected gains in the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.

“This vital infrastructure line will establish an end-to-end logistic supply chain in railway transport services between Northern and Southern regions of the country, reaching Nigerian southern ports of Lagos and Warri.

“The entire route encompasses territory inhabited by close to 80 million people across 10 states of the country. This project has a branch line to Dutse the capital of Jigawa State to open up this corridor which is endowed with vast resources.

“The Kano – Maradi rail line has been identified as a viable line that will significantly enhance the movement of passengers and freight to the hinterland especially raw materials from both agricultural and mineral resources for our industries.

“The project, when completed, would serve import and export of goods for the Niger Republic and other countries in the sub-region through Nigerian ports. The country would earn revenue through expansion of trade and commerce, while the people of the Niger Republic will benefit from the ease of transportation logistics at an affordable cost in their import and export business.

“The connection to the Niger Republic through rail will also foster trans-Sahara trade and contribute to the expected gains in the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.”

The rail line is known as Kano-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradi (Niger Republic) rail line with a branch line from Kano.

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