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Lai: Rail line from Kano to Niger Republic purely economic

Lai: Rail line from Kano to Niger Republic purely economic
October 02
20:18 2020

Lai Mohammed, minister of information, says the rail line the federal government plans to construct to the border of Niger Republic will strengthen Nigeria’s economy.

Speaking on Good Morning Nigeria, a Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) programme, on Friday, Mohammed said there has been a lot of disinformation about the project.

The project has generated controversy. But Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, explained that the government would only construct the rail line to a designated border point and not into the foreign country.

Mohammed said the government’s reason for the project “is purely economic”.


“I think there has been a lot of disinformation and total lack of information over the rail linking of Lagos, Kano, Katsina railway to Maradi,” NAN quoted him as saying.

“The wisdom behind it is that Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso are all landlocked; meaning that they do not have access to sea.

“What this means is that most of their imports and exports have to go through neighbouring countries’ seaports like Cotonou in Benin Republic, Togo and Ghana.


“Because we do not have a road infrastructure that will encourage Niger Republic to use our seaports, we believe that we will be able to take over their imports and exports with the rail linkage.

“The simple reason, therefore, is to strengthen the economy of Nigeria.

“For now, Niger Republic uses seaport of Benin Republic, Togo and Ghana and the exporters go through the stress, challenges and time of being on the road from Cotonu, Lome or Accra to their country.

“But by the time we link them from Katsina to Maradi, it will be easier for us to take over the business. There is nothing like territorial expansion, it is purely economic, we are taking advantage of the proximity and efficiency of the rail system.”



  1. Olá
    Olá October 03, 02:05

    This explanation looks to me more like an afterthought. If this is the main reason for the construction of railroad to Maradi to would have been provided from day one. How come everyone forgot about this reason until now; how come Shehu Garba in his earlier responses never provided this reason; how come both Lie Mohammed and Rotimi Amaechi never mentioned this all important reason. There’s nothing Buhari will not do to justify the waste of our scarce money to benefit his kith in Niger. I remember the Nigerian officials coming to Nigeria to celebrate with Buhari when he won the last election. You can do the math.

    Reply to this comment
    • aminuolawale
      aminuolawale October 05, 12:30

      Exactly what I thought. The government even initially denied the rail would reach into Niger, claiming it would only stop at the border. I believe the true reason would be due to the Chinese Belt road Initiative scheme. China is strategically setting up routes through countries which it has interests in and have signed to join the belt road initiative. That has to be the reason because I can’t understand the suddenness of the project and just how much it relies on the export economy of a much poorer country. How much do they forecast to earn within a reasonable time on the railway ? Why are we so confident that so many Nigerien goods will pass through Nigeria?

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