The Kano to Maradi, Niger Republic $2 billion rail line project, awarded by the previous government under President Muhammadu Buhari, is expected to be completed by the set project target year of 2025.
Speaking during an inspection of the project that commenced from Dawanau in Kano and is scheduled to extend to Niger Republic, the Minister of Transport, Senator Saidu Ahmad Alkali, on Friday, expressed satisfaction with the progress of the works.
He stated, “The earthwork of the project has reached an 80 percent completion stage, and the actual rail line work will commence soon after the earthworks.”
The Minister further added, “I’m impressed with what we have seen as we came all the way from Dawanau, where the project started. We acquired first-hand information on the level of project execution, and the contractors are in compliance with the specified job requirements.”
On whether the contractor would meet the set target for completing the project, the minister explained that the major work has been completed, and there is a strong possibility that they would meet the target.
Alkali also noted, in admiration of the contractor’s work, that from Dawanau in Kano to the Daura area, bush clearing and earth clearing were done perfectly, and the contract is progressing smoothly without any significant issues.
As for whether the original cost of the project would be readjusted to accommodate the current high cost of production, the Minister mentioned that the contractor should be willing to make some sacrifices to contribute to the nation’s development under the leadership of the Tinubu-led administration.
The lead contractor, Vladislav Bystrenko, clarified that the contract sum was $1.95 billion, and they had signed contractual obligations around 2021 with the Federal Government. He added that even before funds were released to them, they proceeded with major tasks such as designing, land surveying, and supervision of the entire contract area to reduce a significant portion of the project.
Vladislav Bystrenko assured that the government is highly committed to completing the project within the set year of 2025.