On his recent visit to the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) for a stakeholders meeting involving the project handlers; Chinese Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) and representatives involved on the on-going Lagos-Ibadan rail corridor project, the Transportation Minister stated that the Federal Government had to award a rail line that will pass through Daura due to lack of a rail line linking Nigeria with her land-locked neighbours like Niger.
Rotimi Amaechi stated further that in order to stimulate more businesses and trading activities, the government approved a rail line to Daura because of the competition for landlocked countries from Ghana and Togo.
He told newsmen after the monthly meeting with the contractor handling the Lagos-Ibadan rail project, that Nigeria realised that it had competitors for other land-locked neighbours competitors like Ghana, Togo and even Benin Republic.
The minister noted that Nigeria’s landlocked neighbours are importing through these countries because of the absence of rail lines passing through them. So to address this situation, President approved a rail line that will go to Maragi in Niger.
He stressed that that the rail line which will come from Kano to Maragi in Niger must pass through some cities. So the rail line passes through Kazaure and then Daura before proceeding to Jibya all the way to Maragi’’.
Reacting on the reactions trailing the President’s action, Amaechi queried, ‘’Is it that when the rail line gets to Kazaure, it jumps into the air over Daura? No, it has to pass through Daura to get to Jibya and Maragi. It’s quite unfortunate that people read meanings to a rail line going to Daura’’. The minister stated.
“With this rail line, it addresses the competition we have with Ghana and Togo for our landlocked neighbours. So we can now tell our landlocked neighbours that we can take their goods and services from our ports in Lagos to their country.
But one thing good for me as a man that has the mandate to connect all state capital by rail is that, from Daura, we will also link Katsina State, thereby leaving us with just three more State capitals to connect; Zamfara, Sokoto and Kebbi.”