Niger Urges FG To Start Work On Abuja-Niger Rail Line , Minna Airport Upgrade | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Niger Urges FG To Start Work On Abuja-Niger Rail Line , Minna Airport Upgrade

Sani Bello
Posted: Jul 31, 2016 at 5:02 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)




The Niger State government has called on the Federal Government to assist the state in its development drive by taking advantage of its proximity to the federal seat of power to construct Niger-Abuja rail line as a matter of priority.

Mr. Jonathan Vatsa, state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, who made the plea in a statement said the state also wants President Muhammadu Buhari to make deliberate plans towards upgrading Minna Airport to an international cargo airport.

Vatsa said the call for more benefits for Niger State had become imperative considering the sacrifice the state made in the making of the Federal Capital Territory.

“Niger State made sacrifices more than any other state for the sake of Abuja,” he stated.

Vatsa argued that the proximity of the state to the FCT should be leveraged for the socio-economic development of Nigeria, Niger State inclusive.

He noted that the state has the historical record of being an economic melting pot with the existence of the famous Baro port and the railway transit through Mokwa, Minna, Akare, Wushishi and Gwada.

“It is, therefore, only wise that with the recent inauguration of the Abuja-Kaduna rail line by the President which was jointly financed by the Federal Government of Nigeria and China Exim Bank, the same gesture should be advocated for Niger State as deliberate policy aimed at not only for the economic benefits to Niger State but also the federal seat of power,” he stated.

While congratulating President Buhari for a successful inauguration of the Abuja-Kaduna rail line, the Niger State government spokesperson argued that it is more justifying because the state is also situated as the gateway between the North and Southern Nigeria.

“The Federal Government and indeed Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transport, should consider the proximity between Niger and Abuja and ensure that the planned Abuja-Minna rail line project becomes a reality.

“The Federal government should put our closeness to the FCT and our connecting rail link over the years between north and the south into cognizance. They should remember us especially for proper utilisation of the Baro Port.

Abuja-Minna rail line, one of the projects that had been mooted long before now, Vatsa said will also be very important because from Baro port, it will be easier to convey agricultural produce, livestock and even solid mineral resources to Abuja and other parts of the country,” he stated.

He added that the rail line would also bring about major commercial and production centres linked with railway system as a way of bringing about rapid socio-economic development and improving the living conditions of Nigerians as well promoting social-economic and regional integration.

“We have very strategic airport here in Minna that can serve as an international cargo airport to boost the economic potentials of not only Niger State just as the Nnamdi Azikiwe airport serves similar purpose,” the Commissioner said.

While pledging unalloyed support of the government and people of Niger State to the APC administration at the federal level, Vatsa appealed to President Buhari not to deny Niger State the opportunity of becoming one of the best economies in Nigeria in future as nature has placed the state at a vintage position to be.