The National Assembly Joint Committees on Land and Marine Transport has protested against the proposal of the Minister of Transport, Chibuike Amaechi, to construct a standard narrow gauge for the Kano-Maradi Rail line while constructing old narrow gauge for other parts of Nigeria.
The protest against the marginalization was sequel to the presentation of the 2022 budget proposal before the Joint National Assembly Committee on Marine Transport.
Amaechi said while presenting the budget:
The construction of Kaduna -Kano Railways to link up the Abuja-Kaduna rail line has commenced . Survey and Design for Ibadan-Minna-Abuja is ongoing.
Construction of the 284 kilometers Nigeria. -Maradi(Niger Republic) standard guage, rail line enabling interconnectivity with countries in the West Africa sub region for the promotion of trade and commerce.
This important contribution by Nigeria would be mutually beneficial by adding to the economic growth of the two countries , Niger and Nigeria.
Chairman of Senate Committee on Marine Transport, Senator Danjuma Goje, and House Committee Chairman, Hon. Pat Azadu kicked against the marginalization of other regions of the country in the construction rail line.
Both Chairmen queried the Minister’s decision not to construct uniform rail lines across the country instead of giving Kano-Maradi modern rail line and constructing old rail lines to other regions.
The Chairman Committee on Port, Pat Asadu, who opened the floor after the Minister presented his ministry’s budget to the Committee asked why constructing modern rail lines for one place and constructing old rail lines to other parts of the country.
Why won’t you construct narrow gauge across the country so that we can develop equally. I can’t sit down and approve this. These are done with such impunity, my heart bleeds .This had been reoccurring.
The Senate Committee Chairman on Marine Transport supported the observation of Hon. Asadu.
Why you will give us old rail line and spending a lot of money to standard gauge to Maradi?
I completely concur with the statement of Honorable member in the House of Representatives.
Amaechi while responding to the issue raised by the Committee said that the difference between the Narrow gauge and Standard gauge is speed adding that the country may not get the money to standard gauge across the country.
He said that the negotiation for a loan for the construction of the Kano-Maradi standard gauge line is about to be completed.