By Dirisu Yakubu, Abuja
The President Muhammadu Buhari-led government as part of its commitment to link the entire country by rail, Monday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mota-Engil Group for the construction of US$1.959 billion Kano-Maradi Standard gauge railway line.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi signed on behalf of the federal government while the Managing Director, Mota- Engil, Antonio Gvoea signed on behalf of the contracting firm.
The new railway corridor which is to be located in northern Nigeria will run through Kano, Jigawa and Katsina states and through Niger Republic territory as far as Maradi. Other cities to benefit directly from the passage of the rail route are Danbatta, Kazaure, Daura, Mashi, Katsina and Jibiya.
A statement signed by Eric Ojiekwe, Director, Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Transportation noted that the 283.750-kilometre rail line besides developing freight and passenger transport, “will be integrated with road transport to make a great contribution to the local economy as well as an important development in the social sector.”
The project duration is for 36 months and the contract type is Engineering, Procurement and Construction.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr Magdalene Ajani; Director, Legal Services, Pius Oteh; Managing Director, Mota-Engil Group, Antonio Gvoea; Head of Legal, Mota- Engil Group, Cameron Beverley; Magajin Garin Kano, Muhammad Wada; Director, Mota-Engil Group, Kola Abdulkarim; Vice President, Mota-Engil Group, Mohammed Abdul-Razaq; Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Yusuf Tuggar; Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala-Usman among other personalities.