The recommended rail line from Kano in Nigeria to Maradi in Niger Republic is going to cover an approximate distance of 248 kilometres and will pass through seven senatorial districts in the North.
According to information from the Federal Ministry of Transportation on Monday in Abuja, the rail line will connect at least seven cities in Nigeria and one city in Niger Republic. The rail line has already been budgeted for in the 2018 Appropriation Bill currently before the National assembly.
The rail line, which will begin from Kano is to link Dambatta, Kazaure, Daura, Mashi, Katsina, Jibia and terminate in Maradi, Niger Republic.
It will connect at least three states in the North, which are Jigawa, Kano and Katsina.
It was also learnt that the rail line, 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.
The border town is close to Katsina State and a mutual agreement for the construction of the refinery was reached between Nigeria and Niger Republic last week.
However, senior officials at the Federal Ministry of Transportation could not tell the actual cost of the project.
They also did not reveal if the facility would be solely funded by the Federal Government or if it would be jointly financed by both countries or by private investors.
It was further gathered that the line would serve in the transportation of mineral resources from Nigeria to Niger and back.
Explaining why crude will be moved by rail to the refinery, sources at the ministry stated that the measure would be temporary, as both countries were also planning to construct pipelines to link the refinery.
On Friday, The PUNCH had reported that Nigeria and the Republic of Niger had agreed to construct a refinery in a border town located between both countries and close to Katsina State.
According to the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the agreement was reached between both nations to build the facility and for the construction of a crude oil pipeline from Niger Republic to the new refinery.
The FMPR in several Twitter messages had said, “The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, met with the President of the Republic of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, and the Energy Minister of the Republic of Niger, Mr. Foumakoye Gado.
“Mutually beneficial agreement was reached for the construction of a refinery in the border town between the Republic of Niger and Katsina, Nigeria, and a crude oil pipeline from the Republic of Niger to the new refinery. Bilateral/technical agreements to be signed in coming days.”