The Federal Government has stated that the Nigeria-Niger Republic rail project would boost trade and other socioeconomic interactions between both countries.
A statement by the Director, Press and Public Relations of the Ministry of Transportation, Henshaw Ogubike, said the minister in charge of the ministry, Mu’azu Sambo, stated this in Abuja at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on the project between Nigeria and the Republic of Niger on Thursday.
Sambo noted that the rail line, which will start from Kano State in Nigeria and end at Maradi in Niger Republic, will facilitate the realisation of the objectives of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, to which Nigeria and Niger Republic are signatories.
“I am aware that people have blood relationships across borders. So, the project will expand the historical cultural relationship between the people of Nigeria and those of the Niger Republic. The project is also very important in enhancing inter-nation and continental trade.”
He said that a technical committee would be set up within seven days in accordance with Article 3 of the MoU, adding that nomination of members and inauguration of the technical committee would be concluded by the first week of February 2023.
Sambo further said that after the inauguration, the technical committee would take charge of the facilitation and implementation of the project.
Speaking earlier, the Minister of Transportation of the Republic of Niger, Alma Oumarou, corroborated Sambo, saying the rail project will strengthen cultural ties between the two countries and create jobs.
In her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr Magdalene Ajani, said work had been ongoing on the Kano-Maradi rail line for the past two years, adding that the signing of the MoU would expedite the completion of the project.