President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Ministries of Transportation and Finance to conclude financial arrangements with appropriate co-financiers that will partner with the Federal Government for construction of West-East Coastal rail line from Lagos to Calabar, linking some major cities in South East and South-South.
The president, who gave the directive at the virtual groundbreaking ceremony for the Kano-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradi Rail Line in Abuja on Tuesday, said the West-East Coastal rail line would connect Onitsha, Benin, Warri, Yenegoa, Port Harcourt, Aba and Uyo.
He said the contract for the important Central Railway traversing Itakpe – Baro – Abuja with connection to Lokoja and a new seaport in Warri has been signed and is expected to achieve an appreciable level of completion during the tenure of this administration.
On the Kano – Jibiya – Maradi rail line Buhari noted that the cities of Jibiya and Maradi constitute a significant trading core between Nigeria and Niger Republic – a tradition dating back many centuries.
According to him, this vital infrastructure line will establish an end-to-end logistic supply chain in railway transport services between Northern and Southern regions of the country reaching Nigerian southern ports of Lagos and Warri.
He also described the Kano–Maradi rail line as a viable line that would significantly enhance the movement of passengers and freight to the hinterland, especially raw materials from both agricultural and mineral resources for industries in both countries.
Buhari commended the construction company handling the project, Messrs Mota-Engil Nigeria Limited, for supporting knowledge and technology transfer.