No Politicking In Constructing Rail Line To Link Niger Republic – Amaechi - Uju Ayalogu's Blog for News, Reviews, Articles and More

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Saturday, 3 October 2020

No Politicking In Constructing Rail Line To Link Niger Republic – Amaechi


No Politicking In Constructing Rail Line To Link Niger Republic – Amaechi

Nigeria Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has accused some indi­viduals of politicising the Fed­eral Government’s decision to construct a rail line that would link Kano State in Nigeria to Maradi in Niger Republic.

Amaechi, who was a virtual guest on Television Continen­tal (TVC) Your View on Friday, explained that the decision to construct a rail line that would link Kano to Maradi, is purely economics and had no political connection.

He clarified that there is a competition between the coast­al states of Nigeria, Benin Re­public, Togo and Ghana, which allows the three other countries to move cargoes from these landlord countries to their sea­ports.

According to him, “The decision to invest in Kano to Maradi is purely economics, there is no politics attached to it. You people are the ones politicising it.

“I made that decision be­cause there is a competition between the coastal states of Nigeria, Benin Republic, Togo and Ghana. These other three countries are able to move car­goes from these landlord coun­tries to their seaports. And for either export or import, they are able to do those business.

“We are not able to do them because the landlord countries are complaining of crime; that the roads are not safe in Nige­ria; they are complaining that the roads are not properly paved, and that there is cus­toms’ interference; that there are police checkpoints here and there, and therefore they find it difficult to do business with Nigeria seaports.

“So to be able to attract those cargoes, we decided to construct a rail line from Kano to Maradi, just a village in Ni­ger Republic and then we will build warehouses there where we can attract cargoes from neighbouring countries and transport them to either Tin- Can Island seaport or Apapa seaport for either onward movement, or to make them import through our seaports and we drop it off for them at Maradi.”

Giving further clarifications on the loans being collected from China, the minister said there was no need for fears among Nigerians, as the Feder­al Government will not default on the terms of agreement of the loan.

He said, “Would you like to borrow money and not pay back? We have never been known to not pay back our loan neither have we been known not to keep to terms of agreement.

“So if the terms of agree­ment includes that if you don’t pay back they will confiscate any property that is part of the loan agreement, then so be it.

“I always ask Nigerians this question, when Obasanjo said he left 68 billion dollars in our excess crude account, why could he have constructed rail­ways with that money?

“To connect the whole of Ni­geria together, you need about 36 to 40 billion dollars to connect the whole of the states’ capitals. Why didn’t we do it then when we had money? Why would we filter away the fund?

“What I can say is that we will repay our loans and what happened in Sri-Lanka will not happen here,” he added.

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