President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said about 80 million people stand to benefit frorm the Kano-Maradi railway project, when completed.

Buhari made this disclosure when he virtually presided over the groundbreaking ceremony, signifying the commencement of construction work on the rail project.

The rail line which extends from Kano and passes through Kazaure, Daura, Katsina and up to the border town of Jibiya and the Niger Republic city of Maradi, is expected to boost import and export of goods between Nigeria, Niger and other neighbouring landlocked countries.

It was the second major rail infrastructure that President Buhari would be attracting to his home state, the first being the University of Transportation which is to be built by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) the contractor handling the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line. Same firm is to complete the third and final leg of the project, from Ibadan – Kano.

the Presidnt pointing out the econonomic importance of this project said “This vital infrastructure line will establish an end-to-end logistics supply chain in railway transport services between Northern and Southern regions of the country, reaching Nigeria’s southern ports of Lagos and Warri.

“The entire route encompasses territory inhabited by close to 80 million people across 10 states of the country. This project has a branch line to Dutse the capital of Jigawa state to open up this corridor which is endowed with vast agricultural and mineral resources.

“The Kano-Maradi rail line has been identified as a viable line that will significantly enhance the movement of passengers and freight to the hinterland especially raw materials from both agricultural and mineral resources for our industries.”

He continued: “The project, when completed, would serve import and export of goods for Niger Republic and other countries in the sub-region through Nigerian ports.

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