Mota-Engil SGPS SA, a Portuguese group in the sectors of civil construction, public works, port operations, waste, water, and logistics, has begun constructing the US$ 1.8bn Nigeria-Niger Railway (Kano-Maradi railway) line.
This comes barely a month after Rotimi Amaechi, the Transport Minister in the Federal Republic of Nigeria announced the conclusion of a contract with the Portuguese group on the 283-kilometer line that runs from the northern trading hub of Kano to the town of Maradi on the other side of the Nigeria-Niger border.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held on the 9th of February this year at the site of a proposed station in Makira town, Katsina state.
Scope of the project
This project involves the construction of a standard gauge railway line with an alignment of about 377 kilometers from Kano to Maradi and a branch line from Kano to Dutse.
The 284-kilometer Kano-Maradi railway line will connect three federal states in Northern Nigeria (Kano, Jigawa, and Katsina), and Maradi, the second-largest city in the Republic of Niger, while the 93 kilometers branch line will connect the capital of Jigawa’s State, known as Dutse, to Kano.
To be completed by 2023 according to Minister Amaechi, the entire line has a total of 15 stations, and its daily traffic forecast is 9,364 passengers & approximately 3000 metric tons of cargo.
The contractor will also build a Multi-disciplinary University in Rivers State as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Benefits of the project to Nigeria
According to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Kano- Maradi railroad, will amongst other benefits, create revenue for Nigeria, and enable the people of the Niger Republic to enjoy affordable transportation.
“The project, when completed, would serve import and export of goods for the Niger Republic and other countries in the sub-region through the Nigerian ports. The country will therefore earn revenue through expansion of trade and commerce, while the people of Niger Republic will benefit from the ease of transportation and logistics at an affordable cost in their import and export business,” the president said.