…..Action total love for Kano citizens -Ganduje
By Usman Usman Garba
President Muhammadu Buhari has yesterday launched the construction of Kano to Kaduna double gauge rail line as the third phase of the Lagos to Kano rail track project.
This, according to The Triumph findings, is coming over 100 years after the first railway line in Northern Nigeria was built between 1908 and 1911 from Baro to Kano, and opened to traffic in 1912.
The president laid the foundation at Zawachiki, in Kumbotso Local Government Area of Kano State.
“I am delighted to preside over the groundbreaking ceremony to mark the commencement of the construction activities on the Kano-Kaduna segment of the Lagos-Kano railway modernization train project at the proposed site of the Kano railway station which is adjacent to Dala Inland Dry Port,” he said.
He added that the construction of the railway would reduce the deficiency in transportation infrastructure and drive effective and more efficient transportation of passengers within the country.
The president has also assured the Kano citizens that the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Finance are working to engage co-financing to conclude financial agreement and to partner with Federal Government for the development of the Ibadan to Kano and to further increase the feasibility of the project.
On his part, the state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has stated that the project was a clear indication to Buhari’s laid administration programme to promote trade and commerce as well as creating great job opportunities among the teeming youths in the country.
He commended the president for bringing so many projects to the state such as the construction of new 300-capacity-untra-modern correctional centre along Gwarzo Road, the construction of multimillionaire solar power project in Kumbotso Local Government Area, total reconstruction of Kano-Kaduna to Abuja express, the AKK pipeline project, and the reconstitution of many abandoned projects in the state.
He added that the president has also done a lot to the state citizens by giving them so many appointments at the federal level.
“The last not the final, Mr. President, we must commend you for this tremendous work you have done for our people.
“It is what the generality of Kano people voted you to do as a leader. It is the form of leadership style to give to the Nigerian citizens,” said Ganduje.
He said like the Federal Government, the state government too has achieved a lot in infrastructural developments which it completed several projects inherited from the previous administrations and also initiated new ones which some were completed.
The governor said: “Today Kano is blessed with standard roads with several flyovers and underpasses constructed by our administration which aid significantly in easing traffic flaw across the state in addition to beautifying and modernising our ancient city of Kano, as well as improving business activities.
“The state has also done a lot of investment in health, agriculture, women and men empowerment as well as education which is free and compulsory for primary to secondary schools children including persons with disabilities.
For security issue, which is one of the disturbing factors in the country, Dr. Ganduje informed the President that his administration is working assiduously for ensuring peace and stability in the state.
“Mr. President, this our modest effort helps tremendously in achieving serenity and peace in Kano State, make it one of the most secured and peaceful state in the country,” he said.
He also called for the contractors of the railway modernization project to exert effort into the project not only to complete it on time according to the payment but also with high quality; and by engaging the services of local people as a way of creating jobs for them which is one of the main objectives of President Buhari.
On his part, the minister of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi stated that the scope of the railway project involved a 203km double track standard gauge railway from Kano to Kaduna and the railway route traversed the major cities of Kaduna, Zaria and Kano with three railway stations both for passenger and freight services at Rigachukun, Zaria and Kano with varying capacities and categories.
He added that the project would link the Federal Capital, Abuja with the commercial city of Kano and also link the ongoing Kano – Maradi project and that would present an opportunity for Nigerians to traverse between Abuja and Kano via Kaduna with relative ease.
He also mentioned that the rail line is also provided with accessories and special installations including power and water supply schemes, signalling system and communication in GSM-R, freight yards, rolling stock depots and maintenance workshops.
The minister said: “The project will no doubt improve the standard of living of citizens within its corridor, create employment and promote trade.
“In the long term, the railway will help decongest the Lagos Port Complex and increase its efficiency as well as further increase the viability of the Inland Dry Ports located in Ibadan, Kaduna and Kano.”
Meanwhile, as President Buhari presided over the groundbreaking ceremony to mark the commencement of the construction activities on the Kano-Kaduna railway modernization project, at the Zawachiki, in Kumbotso Local Government of Kano State yesterday, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of the state has described the effort as clear show of love to the people of the state.
During the occasion President Buhari disclosed that, the project is another Federal Government signature in the state.
He said: “The take-off of this project represents the commitment of this administration in the revival of Nigerian railway system to reduce the deficiency in our transportation infrastructure and drive effective and more efficient transportation of passengers and freight within the country.”
Expressing his gratitude, Governor Ganduje said: “On behalf of the people and government of Kano State, permit me to express my warm welcome to the Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari.”
After congratulating the entire people of the state, the governor added that: “This project is a clear indication to the Buhari administration’s commitment to promoting activities and commerce, as well as creating great employment opportunities among our teeming youth in Nigeria.
“We must therefore accord all necessary support and cooperation in helping the Federal Government realise this noble cause.”
He also commended and displayed gratitude to the President for “…bringing so many projects to the state.”
“This show of love to the people of Kano by Mr. President is not limited to citing projects in the state. It extended to giving the state indigenes appointments at federal level.
“With all sense of humility, I am to intimate this gathering that based on the last count, Kano State has no less 45 Federal Government appointees.
“From two senior cabinet Ministers of Defence and Agriculture to Board members at federal establishments. We must commend you for this tremendous work you have done for our people,” Ganduje commended Buhari.
The Triumph’s finding reveals that the first to be built in the country, was the Lagos–Kano Railway, which was constructed by the Lagos Colony (later Southern Nigeria Protectorate).
Further investigations have shown that the Baro-Kano rail line and that of Lagos Government were later amalgamated by the British colonial government represented by Frederick Lugard in 1914 to form a national system known as Nigerian Railway Department, which later became Nigerian Railway Corporation in the 1950s.
Also, in 1893, the construction of the railway began in Lagos, then passed through Ibadan, and later entered Ilorin (the Northern territory).
It was again stated that the construction of Baro-Kano railway was linked to the Lagos line at Minna, while the Jebba bridge was completed and the railway was able to travel across the bridge in 1921.