President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has informed that a railway link from Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria to Maradi, Niger Republic will be achieved by the time Lagos-Kano link is completed.
President Buhari gave this assurance at the inauguration of 157 kilometres Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway line that aims at easing gridlock on the Lagos-Ibadan highway for commercial operations at the Mobolaji Johnson railway station, Ebute Metta, Lagos,yesterday .
“The Lagos–Kano railway project when completed will link the Kano–Maradi line at Kano and a rail link from the Nigeria southern ports of Lagos to Maradi in the Niger Republic will be achieved.
“In clear recognition of the challenges posed to our economic growth by the absence of strong and effective infrastructure, we have in the rail sector, further to other ongoing railway infrastructure projects, embarked on the completion of the outstanding segment of the Lagos – Kano railway, which is Ibadan–Kano.
President Buhari believed that the Nigeria-Niger railway link will establish Nigeria ports as a closest choice for import to Niger.
“The connection through rail would position Nigerian ports as the choice for import and export business of the people of landlocked Niger Republic.
“This would be beneficial to the economy through employment from new business opportunities and wealth creation, ” Buhari said.
President Buhari also saw the railway project “as another milestone in the drive of this administration to revitalise the railway system and establish it as a choice mode of transportation for both passengers and freight”.
Also attesting to the importance of the railway project of Buhari led administration especially the Lagos-Ibadan line, Femi Adesina, spokesman to the president, said on Thursday that one of the reasons for the establishment of the link was to reduce traffic on the heavily congested Lagos–Ibadan highway which has alwsys been a big hiccups on the transportation in the state.
President Buhari however pledged that his administration will prioritise the railway system as a transportation model that can transform industrial and economic activity in the country and region.
“This vital line establishes an end-to-end logistic supply chain in railway transport within its short corridor, Lagos–Ibadan, as goods to the hinterland would now be transported by rail directly from the Apapa port Quayside straight to the Inland Container Depot located in Ibadan from where it can be distributed to other parts of the country,” he said.
President Buhari further informed that the Ibadan-Kano project would have a connection to the Tin Can Island port as well as the West–East Coastal rail line from Lagos to Calabar linking Onitsha, Benin, Warri, Yenagoa, Port Harcourt, Aba Uyo and other parts of Nigeria for a wholistic railway transportation development.