The Minister of Transport, Sen. Ahmed Alkali, has expressed satisfaction with the level of ongoing construction of the $2 billion Kano-Maradi, Niger Republic, standard gauge rail project.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Alkali spoke to newsmen at Dadin Kowa in Kazaure Local Government Area of Jigawa shortly after inspecting the project on Friday.
“We are fully committed in ensuring timely completion of the ongoing Kano – Jigawa – Maradi rail line project, aimed at boosting the economy of the Nigeria and Niger republic.
“We are working hard to fix this country; so in terms of reviewing the financial aspect we must make sacrifice, including the contractor,” he said.
The minister, who drove by road from Kano to Daura, said he was satisfied with the level of the work done so far.
He said with the speed at which the project is going hopefully the contactors would meet the target of timely completion by 2025.
H explained that the standard gauge rail line project, which commenced from Dawanau in Kano State, passed through Jigawa and Katsina States, and terminate at Maradi in Niger Republic.
“The $2 billion project awarded by former President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to be completed at the set agreed project target year of 2025.
“The earth work of the project has reached 80 per cent stage, while real rail line work would soon commence after the earth works.
“I am very impressed with what we have seen; we came all the way from Dawanau where the project started so that we have first hand information of the level of the execution of the project and the contractors are in compliance with the level of specifications of the job,” he stated.
The minister said that the major work has been done and there is every tendency that they would meet the target.
Alkali noted that the bush and earth clearing works from Dawanau in Kano state to Daura area of Katsina state were done perfectly and that the contract is smoothly going on without any hitches.
On whether the original cost of the project would be reviewed to meet current high cost of production realities, the minister urged the contractor to make some sacrifices to contribute his quota in the fixing of Nigeria by the Tinubu-led administration.
The Lead Contractor, Mr Vladislav Bystrenko, said the contract sum was 1.95 billion U.S dollars and that they signed contractual obligations around 2021 with the Federal Government.
He added that even before fund was released to them they went ahead with some major jobs of designing, land survey, supervision of the entire area of the contract to reduce major part of the project.
Bystrenko appreciated that government is highly serious and desirous of completing the project by 2025.
The minister, while in Daura, inspected the Muhammadu Buhari University of Transportation, where the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Adam Umar, promised to commence admissions in October.