Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, says the federal government is not constructing a rail line into Niger Republic but to a designated border point.
Shehu’s statement contradicts the one made by Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, who said the government had approved $1.96 billion for the construction of a rail line into Niger Republic.
Speaking with journalists after a federal executive council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, Amaechi said the rail line would start from Kano and terminate at Maradi in Niger Republic.
But on Twitter on Thursday, the presidential spokesman said both countries agreed to construct rail lines to meet at the border town of Maradi.
Nigeria isn’t building rail line into Niger but, only to the designated Border point.
— Garba Shehu (@GarShehu) September 24, 2020
“Nigeria isn’t building a rail line into Niger but, only to the designated Border point,” Shehu tweeted.
“An agreement between Nigeria and Niger in 2015, coordinated by the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission for Cooperation has a plan for ‘Kano-Katsina-Maradi Corridor Master Plan, (K2M)’ as it is called.
“Going by this, the two nations would each build a rail track to meet at the border town of Maradi.
“Nigerian delegates to that meeting comprised officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Boundaries Commission, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Water Resources as well as those of Kano and Katsina states.
“The objective of the rail is the harnessing of raw materials, mineral resources and agricultural produce.
“When completed, it will serve domestic industries and play the role of a viable transportation backbone to the West African subregion, starting with the neighboring Niger Republic for their export and import logistic chain.