I begged Niger Republic to let Nigeria construct free railway for them – Amaechi
Rotimi Amaechi, Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, says he personally travelled to Niger Republic to beg the country to allow the Nigerian government to construct the $1.95bn railway from Kano State into Maradi.
Amaechi made this known on Channels TV’s ‘News Night’ programme on Monday.
The railway is expected to run from Kano to Dutse- Katsina through Jibia and will end at Maradi Niger Republic.
Amaechi said; “It is like the shout about Kano-Maradi rail. I said my wife is Igbo. She is not from Maradi. The worst is that they will say I am serving the interest of the North. Let’s assume that is the argument you will make. The worst I can do is stop at Jibia which is the border.
When asked why it was so important to extend the rail to Maradi, Amaechi explained that Niger Republic is a landlocked country and has to rely on entrepot trade which means it has to export and import through intermediary countries.
He argued that the new rail would help Nigeria to compete and this would expand the economy
“They say immigration does not allow them. Even when they pass all these, there are police checkpoints on the road, customs checkpoints on the road, immigration checkpoints on the road. Then communities have their own checkpoints on the road, armed robbers attack them on the road. So, they prefer to go where it is safe and cheaper to do business.
“So, all we are saying is we come to Maradi, we build offices, we build a warehouse, you put your things in the warehouse, you deal with customs at Maradi, deal with immigration at Maradi, deal with police, whatever you need to check. Once you put the goods on top of the wagon, it goes straight to Lagos. When it gets to Lagos, straight to the ship because the things you would do in Lagos, you would have done in Maradi.