By Zubairu Idris
Katsina, Jan. 13, 2021 Residents of Katsina State have commended the Federal Government’s initiative on the construction of a railway from Kano to Maradi, Niger Republic.
Speaking with journalists in separate interviews on Wednesday in Katsina, the residents were optimistic that project would boost economic activities between the two countries.
Malam Hamisu Lawal, a resident of Daura, expressed happiness over the signing of contract for the construction of the rail line.
Lawal, who said that project was the first of its kind, commended the Federal Government for the initiative.
He said the long awaited project, “will no doubt, boost socio-economic activities, particularly between some border communities of the affected countries, who depend on trade for their livelihood’’.
According to him, communities of Daura, Mashi and Jibia in Katsina State, Danbatta in Kano and Kazaure in Jigawa would benefit immensely from the project.
He pointed out that the project would also assist in reducing poverty among people in the affected areas.
Lawal further said that the project would also assist in curtailing smuggling of illegal weapons into Nigeria.
“After the completion of the project, the government can ban transportation of goods by roads, so that the goods will be examined by security agents on entrance before they reach their final destinations in Nigeria,’’ he said.
Another resident, Alhaji Muhammad Lawal, a resident of Katsina, said that the railway would assist in boosting international trade in the area.
Lawal said that the railway would also relieve roads in those areas from dilapidation caused by heavy-duty vehicles that transport goods along the trade route corridor.
He pointed out that roads’ lifespan would increase, thereby assisting to reduce road accidents and save costs.
On their parts, Malam Abdullahi Muhammad and Alhaji Nura Aliyu, also expressed their happiness over the project.
They, however, urged the government to ensure timely completion of the project.