By Ignatius Ushie
The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has said that as the ministry was rounding up the Lagos-Ibadan rail project billed to be commissioned in June, the ministry is set to commence work to link Kano-Kaduna with rail.
Ameachi stated this when he led a delegation of Nigerian Shippers Council and Nigeria Railway Corporation to pay a courtesy visit on the Kano State Governor in Kano. He said that because of the economic viability of the state, the rail line and the Inland Dry Port would boost the business activities of the state and encourage import and export noting that even though there is no River in the state, maritime activities will be brought there. According to him,
“We are here because we want to see how far you have gone with the Dala Inland Dry Port because between now and July, we would start work on the Kano-Kaduna part of the rail and wherever we link the Kano rail to Kaduna and link Ibadan to Abuja, then we have the problem of cargoes.
“We have to learn how to manage cargoes that come to Kano, like you know, we are also linking Kano-Maradi, so Kano will be the hub for the railway sector with a major station in Kano, it will be able to control the volume of human traffic in Kano. He said
“Kano is important to Nigeria, Kano is also important to the railway sector and we are trying to see how to bring Maritime into Kano, it is important to note that the Nigerian Shippers’ Council North-West Zonal Office is located at Kano because of the economic importance.
“We believe that the government has the capacity to protect those projects and respond to the needs of the users” he said.
On his part, while responding, the Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje said that he was very delighted that the Zonal Office of the Nigerian Shippers Council was located in the State because of the commercial nature of the State, adding that based on the population of the State, the volume of import and export was very high noting that Kano has the highest vote during elections and the highest seat at the National Assembly, hence he would make the Dala Inland Dry Port wet in terms of performance.
Ganduje, however, said that with the international airport in Kano and the businesses happening with other neighbouring countries, the Dry Port and the Rail line will boost the economy of the State. Ganduje posit.