The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce Industry Mines Agriculture has lauded the Federal Government as it
commenced the construction of the Rail line traversing Kano, Katsina up to Maradi in Niger Republic by President Buhari.
The Director-General, NACCIMA, Ambassador Ayo Olukanni who spoke for chamber described the project “as a welcome development and strategic move to boost economic activities along the entire rail line in this corridor and up to Maradi, Niger Republic.”
He noted that the project had its importance, stating that such standard rail infrastructure, would boost trade and economic ties between Nigeria and its neighbours and improve standard of living of millions of people in the respective states the line would pass through and Niger Republic.
He said, “We also see this new rail link as a people’s -oriented project for inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development; in line with the vision of ECOWAS to upscale transport infrastructure in the ECOWAS sub-region.
“It is worthy of note that this rail project will enhance faster and free movement of people as envisioned under ECOWAS.
“It will also help to expand trade and economic activities between people on this rail corridor, and others from various geo-economic zones in the country including the Northern geo-economic zone and Niger Republic.
“As a land-locked country, the people and economic operators in Niger Republic will be delighted with this development because on completion, this standard gauge rail system will significantly improve transportation logistics.
“It will expand the volume of goods and industrial raw materials, which are currently conveyed as in-transit goods by trucks from Nigerian ports all the way to Niger Republic with attendants problems.”
Olukanni added that an efficient rail system would certainly be of greater advantage and much better.
He said, “Similarly in context of the African Continent Free Trade Area, this railway line is an appropriate transport infrastructure which the AfCTA Agreement also underscored as part of the needed infrastructure to facilitate movement of goods for the successful implementation of the Agreement.”
As the network of the standard gauge railway across the country gathers speed, NACCIMA appealed for improved innovative private sector participation in the development and operations of the various rail sectors across the country.