The Federal Executive Council has approved the sum of N453.90bn for the procurement of rolling stock, operation and maintenance equipment for the Kano-Maradi standard gauge rail line currently under construction.
The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, disclosed this to State House correspondents on Wednesday, March 22, after this week’s Council meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The approved sum also includes N510.93m meant for procuring four customised fire service/search and rescue vans in seaports at Port Harcourt, Lagos Port Complex, Tincan Island port and the Marina headquarters of the Nigerian Ports Authority.
The 248km rail line will traverse Kano, other cities such as Kazaure in Bauchi State, Daura and Mashi in Katsina State; Dutse in Jigawa State, the border town of Jibia, before terminating in Niger Republic’s trade and agricultural hub of Maradi.
According to a former Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, the line has 15 stations along its path with a forecasted daily traffic of 9,364 passengers and approximately 3000 metric tons of cargo.
However, the project has been fraught with resistance, especially from lawmakers.
However, on Wednesday, Sambo said: “The memorandum sought council’s consideration and approval for the award of contract for the procurement of rolling stock, operation or maintenance equipment for the Kano-Maradi standard gauge rail line that is currently under construction.
“The contract was awarded to MSSRs Mota-Engil Nigeria Limited, who are the contractors handling this particular project in the sum of $984,722,302.5 inclusive of seven and a half per cent VAT with a completion period of four years.”
Sambo also revealed that the Transport ministry presented another memo on behalf of the Nigerian Ports Authority “for the award of contract for the construction and supply of four customised Fire Service search and rescue vans for extrication of accident victims for Rivers Ports in Port Harcourt, Lagos Port complex, Tincan Island Port and the Marina headquarters of the NPA, all in Lagos.