Transport Minister Pledges Support for Kaduna Rail Project
Shiktra Shalangwa, Abuja
Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Senator Saidu Ahmed Alkali, has given his assurance to the Kaduna State Government that the Ministry will offer its support as the state endeavours to initiate a metropolitan rail mass transit system. This initiative aims to alleviate the transportation difficulties brought about by the removal of fuel subsidies, benefiting the state’s residents.
Senator Alkali who made this disclosure during a courtesy visit by an 8-man delegation from the Kaduna State Government to the Ministry in Abuja, stated that the ingenuity of the Kaduna State Governor, Uba Sani to place primacy on viable means of transportation should be commended and given the necessary support it deserves.
Furthermore, the Minister gave assurances of the Ministry’s support and his interest to partake at every level of discussion that will enable the scheme to commence.
Speaking further, Alkali noted that the initiative is timely as it aligns with Mr President’s charge to State Governors to proffer palliative measures to cushion the effects of petroleum subsidy removal on Nigerians. This is even as he urged other State Governors to take a cue from this initiative.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation and Kaduna State Commissioner for Education, Professor. Muhammed Sani Bello stated that the reason for the visit was to acquaint and solicit the Minister’s support on the project, stating that the train mass transit initiative has the propensity to better the lot of the people and the State’s revenue base as a viable transport sector is the bedrock of development.
According to Bello, the request for the Federal Government’s support for a collaborative effort on this initiative will actualize the State Governor’s desire to connect various parts of the Kaduna metropolis and environs with a network of rail services that are much cheaper and more convenient.
Also speaking at the event, the Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Engr. Fidet Okhiria informed the Minister that Kaduna State Government and Plateau State have approached the Management of NRC and indicated an interest in commencing the programme as a way of cushioning the effects of subsidy following the high rise in transportation costs.
After detailed discussions, the Minister directed the constitution of a Technical Committee consisting of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Nigeria Railway Corporation, Kaduna State Government with a timeline of 5 days to produce a Memorandum of Understanding.
Other members of the delegation included: Engr. Sani Askira, Dr. Mustapha Musa, the Managing Director, Kaduna State Mass Transit Scheme, Dr. Inuwa Ibrahim, Bashir Umar Lere, Commissioner for Public Works, Aminu Abdullahi Shagari, and Hamisu Abduljabbar Tukur.