By Bashir Bello and Abdulmumin Murtala – Kano
The Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero has on Thursday told President Muhammadu Buhari to improve the economy situation of the country to ameliorate sufferings and hardship faced by Nigerians especially in the face of the high cost of food and commodities.
This was also as he told the President to improve the insecurity situation of the country.
The Monarch stated this when he received the President who was at the palace to pay homage after commissioning the Kano/Kaduna rail project and the Dangi Interchange under Bridge road constructed by the Kano State government.
Emir Bayero said, “We are excited with your visit to the palace. We appreciate your visit to the palace from time to time even during the time of the late Emir.
“We want to commend the president for the infrastructural development across the country particularly those sited in Kano just as the Governor listed some of such projects despite the shortfalls in the globally economy.
“We are hoping the presidential aides would continue to advise the president on the condition and wellbeing of the poor masses, especially in those aspect where he would need to be informed on certain development for necessary action. This is a responsibility upon us which we need to discharge accordingly.
“We are calling on the president to look into various sectors of life and find ways of ameliorating the sufferings and hardships faced by the masses especially in the areas of security, economy especially food and commodities.
“We often pray for divine intervention for our country. To the followers, we urged them to sustain constant prayers for the leaders and pray to God to heal our land from COVID-19 pandemic.
“We commend Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje on the giant strides developments in the state,” Emir Bayero said.
Earlier, President Muhammadu Buhari commended Governor Ganduje for continuity in projects he inherited from the past government and initiating new projects in the state.
“My coming is very important because the Governor wants us to see how they utilize money collected from the Federal Government. This is my second time of coming here. I must commend the Governor for continuity of projects he inherited and the new ones initiated. Because the projects are of direct bearing on the lives of the people,” Buhari said.
Meanwhile, in his remarks, Governor Ganduje commended the Federal Government for reviving the railway transportation in the country.
Speaking earlier at the commissioning ceremony of Kano-Kaduna standard gauge rail line project at Zawaciki in Kumbotso local government area of Kano, President Buhari explained why it strategically located the railway station adjacent to the Dala Inland Dry Port in Kano.
“I am delighted to preside over the groundbreaking ceremony to mark the commencement of construction activities on the Kano–Kaduna Segment of the Lagos–Kano Railway Modernization project at the proposed site of the Kano Railway Station, Kano which is also adjacent to the Dala Inland Dry Port.
“The take-off of construction activities on this segment of the Lagos – Kano vividly represents the commitment of this Administration in the revival of Nigerian Railway system, to reduce the deficiency in our transportation infrastructure and drive effective and more efficient transportation of passengers and freight within the country.
“The groundbreaking ceremony for Kano – Kaduna segment of the Lagos – Kano railway modernization project signifies an important milestone of the construction of the third segment, having completed and commenced commercial operation on the first segment Abuja – Kaduna and recently the second segment Lagos-Ibadan.
“This project is crucial to the establishment of a supply chain in railway transport within its corridor, Kano – Kaduna – Abuja, as it links the major commercial cities of Kano and Kaduna to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
“Upon completion, Kaduna – Kano railway project is to link the Lagos – Ibadan Railway project via Abuja, Minna, Ilorin, Oshogbo, Ibadan to Lagos on one end, and Maradi, Niger Republic on the other” the president stated.
He further described the advantage the project has for the Lagos port becoming the choice for import and export activities for not only Nigeria but for the landlocked countries like Niger Republic adding that it would be a boost for the Nigerian economy.
“This railway connection when completed will establish the ports in Lagos, as the choice for import and export business of the people of landlocked Niger Republic. This would positively drive our economies through employment from new business opportunities and wealth creation.
“The Federal Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Finance are working to engage co-financiers to conclude financial agreements to partner with the Federal Government for the development of the Ibadan–Kano line and to further increase the bankability of the project.
“The railway line will be linked to the second Port in Lagos, the Tin Can Island Port. It is also expected that the Inland Dry Port on these routes will be activated and the ports can now receive imports directly from the international market as ports of destination such as the Ibadan, Kaduna and Kano Inland Dry Ports.
“Distinguished guests, this administration recognizes rail transportation as a potent economic driver and as such, has accorded railway infrastructure development the greatest priority it deserves and it is not surprising that several landmarks have been achieved, from the Flag-off for commercial operation of Abuja–Kaduna railway in 2016 to the recent commissioning of the Lagos – Ibadan railway project on June 10 2021, thereby maintaining the pace for the actualization of this vital thoroughfare” President Buhari stated.
In his remark, the Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi stated that all is set to complete the multi-billion naira project that will link up Lagos with Kano through Ibadan, Abuja, Kaduna to Kano.
“I am pleased to inform you that the Ministry is finalizing plans to commence construction of the remaining addendum; Ibadan-Abuja to complete the entire stretch of the Lagos-Kano Railway Modernization project, the first of the modernization project in the 25-Year Strategic Vision plan of the Federal Government to revitalize our hitherto moribund railway transport subsector.
“The Federal Ministry of Transportation will continue to work assiduously in line with Mr President’s directives, to implement all the corridors within the Nigeria Railway ‘Modernization project and progressively expand the railway network,” Rotimi however stated.