The Federal Executive Council, on Wednesday, approved the sum of N453.90bn for the procurement of rolling stock, operation and maintenance equipment for the Kano-Maradi standard gauge rail line currently under construction.
The amount also includes N510.93m meant for procuring four customised fire service/search and rescue vans in seaports at Port Harcourt, Lagos Port Complex, Tincan Island port and the Marina headquarters of the Nigerian Ports Authority.
The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, disclosed this to State House correspondents after this week’s Council meeting chaired by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Kicked off in 2021, the 248km rail line will traverses Kano other cities such as Kazaure in Bauchi State, Daura and Mashi in Katsina State; Dutse in Jigawa State, the border town of Jibia, before terminating in Niger Republic’s trade and agricultural hub of Maradi.
According to a former Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, the line has 15 stations along its path with a forecasted daily traffic of 9,364 passengers and approximately 3000 metric tons of cargo.
However, the project has been fraught with resistance, especially from lawmakers.
In a report in November 2021, the National Assembly Joint Committee on Land and Marine Transport faulted the proposed rail project.
However,speaking on Wednesday, Sambo explained, “The memorandum sought council’s consideration and approval for the award of contract for the procurement of rolling stock, operation or maintenance equipment for the Kano-Maradi standard gauge rail line that is currently under construction.