BY Victoria Ogunrinde
President Muhammadu Buhari alongside the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi on Tuesday flagged-off the construction of the railway project from Katsina State, Nigeria to Maradi, Niger Republic.
The minister while speaking at the occasion noted that the project having its corridor within Kano, Katsina, Jigawa states and a 25Km extension into Niger Republic involves construction of single track standard gauge rail line with an alignment of approximately 284Km traversing Kano – Dambatta – Kazaure – Shargelle – Mashi – Daura – Katsina – Jibiya – Maradi and a 94Km branch line from Kano to Dutse, the capital of Jigawa State.
According to Amaechi, the entire network of the project
has fifteen (15) railway stations of different categories with major stations of approximately 3,000 peak passenger capacity in cities of Kano and Katsina and stations of standard category in Kazaure, Daura, Jibiya and Dutse and minor stations in Dambatta, Shargelle and Mashi as well as halt stations in Kunya, Kano airport, Muduru, Dadara and in Niger Republic at Annol Mata and Maradi.
Amaechi added that the project will reach a substantial completion in 2023 when it will be ready to handle passenger and freight daily traffic with a forecast of 9,364 passengers and approximately 3,000 metric tons of freight on return trips between Kano and Maradi.
He stressed that the route when linked with the ongoing Lagos – Kano railway project on completion, will generate higher traffic volumes and revenue.
The rail line is also provided with accessories and special installations including Power and Water Supply schemes, Signalling System & Communication in GSM-Railway, Freight yards, Rolling stock depots and maintenance.