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Kano-Maradi Railway Set to Boost Trade and Unity Between Nigeria and Niger

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Kano-Maradi railway project

CEM REPORT, TRANSPORTATION | Nigeria has taken a significant step towards boosting trade and regional cooperation with Niger. The transport ministry announced securing $1.3 billion in funding to complete the Kano-Maradi railway project.

This critical infrastructure development will connect Kano, Nigeria’s largest northern city, with Maradi in Niger. The project aims to leverage existing economic and social ties between the two countries, fostering increased trade and cultural exchange.

“The Kano-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradi rail line is a testament to our shared history and ambition for economic advancement,” Nigeria’s transport ministry spokesperson, Jamilu Ja’afaru, enthusiastically stated. “It will create a lasting legacy of wealth and opportunities for Nigeria and the Niger Republic.”

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This significant development comes on the heels of the recent reopening of Nigeria’s borders with Niger signifying a renewed push for regional integration.

Funding Partners

The $1.3 billion secured for the project comes from a consortium led by the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC). This Chinese state-owned construction giant will contribute a substantial 85% of the total funding. The remaining 15% will be covered by the Nigerian government alongside financial institutions like the Africa Export-Import Bank and the African Development Bank.

This collaborative funding structure highlights the international significance of the project. Not only will it benefit Nigeria and Niger directly, but it also showcases the commitment of financial institutions like the African Development Bank (AfDB) to fostering infrastructure development across the continent.

In a previous statement regarding the project, Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB president noted that; “This railway will connect people, markets, and economies across borders, promoting trade and economic development.”

Kano-Maradi Railway Significance

The Kano-Maradi railway project holds even greater significance for Nigeria. The country’s government has been actively working to rebuild the impoverished northern region, which has faced challenges due to a decade-long insurgency. This railway line represents a vital step towards economic revitalization and improved living standards for the people of the north.

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Furthermore, the project aligns with the Nigerian government’s broader plan to develop a nationwide railway network. This initiative aims to address the country’s long-standing issue of poor transportation infrastructure – a major obstacle to economic growth. An efficient railway system will not only facilitate the movement of goods and people across Nigeria but also connect the nation to its neighbors, promoting regional trade and integration.

The signing, earlier this year, of an 840 million-euro contract with Portugal’s Mota-Engil to supply rolling stock for the project, further underscores the government’s commitment to its timely completion.

The Kano-Maradi railway project is more than just a new transportation route; it’s a symbol of hope, progress, and regional unity. With funding secured and construction progressing, this critical infrastructure development promises to unlock a brighter future for Nigeria, Niger, and the entire West African region.

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