CEM REPORT, TRANSPORTATION | During the week the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Republic of Niger signed an MOU on a Joint Rail Project.
The Nigeria-Niger Republic rail line will link Kano in Nigeria to Maradi in Niger Republic.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, and the Minister of Transportation of the Republic of Niger, Alma Oumarou in Abuja.
The rail line is expected to boost trade and other socio-economic activity between Nigeria, Niger Republic and West Africa.
Consequent to the signing of the MoU a Technical Committee which would be set up within seven days in accordance with Article 3 of the MoU, will take charge of the facilitation and implementation of the project.
According to Sambo a nomination of members and inauguration of the Technical Committee would be concluded by the first week of February.
Sambo further stated that the Nigeria-Niger Republic rail line will boost trade and other socio-economic activity between Nigeria, Niger Republic and West Africa.
He added it will also facilitate the realisation of the objectives of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement which Nigeria and Niger Republic are signatories.
”I am aware that people have blood relationships across borders so the project will expand the historical and cultural relationship between the people of Nigeria and those of the Niger Republic.
”The project is also very important in enhancing inter-nation and continental trade.”
President Muhammadu Buhari in a statement issued by the Presidency noted that the Nigeria-Niger Republic rail line is designed to enhance neighbourliness and ease economic activity between Nigeria and Niger, and not only for cultural affiliation. He added:
“If you want to enjoy peace and harmony, you must be very friendly with your neighbour. That is why when I came into office, I started by visiting all our neighbours.”
Oumarou, Minister of Transportation of the Republic of Niger, added that the rail project would promote inter-nation as well as continental trade between the two countries.
The new (Kano–Maradi) railway corridor will run through Kano, Jigawa and Katsina and Niger Republic territory as far as Maradi. Towns like Danbatta (Kano), Kazaure (Jigawa), and Daura, Mashi, and Jibia (Katsina) will also be affected by the new rail line in Nigeria.
Recall that in 2021 the Federal Government revealed the Kano-Maradi rail would be a 283km railway and would be completed in 36 months.