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FG okays $1.96b railway contract to Niger Republic

The 16th virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday approved the award of contract worth $1.96 billion, inclusive of the 7.5 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) for the development of the proposed rail line linking Kano-Dutse-Katsina-Jibia and to Maradi in Niger Republic. 

The approval followed the presentation of a memo by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi. 

Chief Amaechi told journalists at the end of the Council meeting alongside his colleagues in Works and Housing, Niger Delta Affairs, Interior and Information and Culture, added that the council also approved the award of contract  worth N3,049,544,000 for the design, manufacture, supply, testing and commissioning of one railway crane, for the purposes of clearing rail tracks in situations of accidents.

The contract, initiated in February 2018, is designed to connect three Nigerian Northwest States of Kano, Katsina and Jigawa as well as seven of their Senatorial districts.

The 248-kilometre rail line, which will start from Kano, is to pass through Dambatta, Kazaure, Daura, Mashi, Katsina, Jibia and terminate in Maradi, Niger Republic and 

when completed, would assist in the supply of crude oil from Niger Republic to the refinery being built in the border town between both countries.

Amaechi explained: “Two memos for the Ministry of Transportation. The first one is the award of contract for the design, manufacture, supply, testing and commissioning of one railway crane of 150 ton capacity for emergency and recovery of rolling stocks.

“This is to sort out say situations of accident on the track. It is for a total cost of N3,049,544,000. That’s the first memo that was approved for the Ministry of Transportation.

“The second one is the award of contract for the development of the proposed Kano-Katsina-Jibia to Matadi rail line in Niger Republic and to Dutse, the capital of Jigawa, for a total cost of $1,959,744,723.71, inclusive of 7.5 per cent VAT.”

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