The Minister of Transport, Chief Rotimi Amaechi, yesterday, announced that the Federal Government has earmarked $1.2b for the construction of the new Kano – Kaduna rail line. The Minister, who disclosed this during a visit to Gov. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State, explained that the importance of Kano economy necessitated a new thinking.
Amaechi said: “I think the President is doing that because the economy of Kano is also large in the country and that, between Kano and Lagos, we have about a total of 30 million tons of freight, and that will help in conveying some of them to Abuja, while we extend the construction to Lagos”. The Transport Minister said that already, the Federal Government was negotiating with China EXIM Bank and it was expected that the negotiation would end this year, to pave way for work on the project to commence.
Ameachi further revealed that the Lagos – Kano rail (narrow gauge) would have more locomotives, before June 2017, stressing: “We are trying to bring in about 100 locomotives to move between Lagos – Kano – Funtua and Port Harcourt – Gombe”. The flurry of activities around this initiative, he noted, would greatly impact on Kano and reverberate on the national economy.