By Francis Ogwo
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the construction of the Kano to Maradi (Niger Republic) Standard Guage raile line project has been signed between the Federal Government and a multinational engineering and construction company, Mota-Engil Group.
The MoU, which was signed in Abuja on Monday, had the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, sign on behalf of Nigeria while Managing Director of Mota-Engil Group, Antonio Gvoea, signed on behalf of the firm.
The new railway corridor which is to be located in northern Nigeria will run through three states: Kano, Jigawa; Katsina and through Niger Republic territory as far as Maradi.
It is expected to link cities such as Danbatta, Kazaure, Daura, Mashi, Katsina and Jibiya in Nigeria.
A recent statement by Director, Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Transportation, Eric Ejiekwe, the minister stated that the project would be completed in three years.
“The 283.750 kilometre rail line besides developing freight and passenger transport as it will be integrated with road transport, will make a great contribution to the local economy as well as an important development in the social sector,” Amaechi was quoted as saying.
The signing was witnessed by Permanent Secretary, Transportation ministry, Magdalene Ajani; the ministry’s Director of Legal Services, Pius Oteh, and Head of Legal, Mota-Engil Group, Cameron Beverley.
Others are Director, Mota-Engil Group, Kola Abdulkarim; Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Yusuf Tuggar; and Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman.
Experts have expressed optimism that the business relationship between the two West African relationship especially in agriculture and trade would get a boost after the completion of the project.