Alkali Engages Prospective Financiers For Kano-Maradi Rail Project

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NRC Project
The Minister of Transportation, Sen. Said Alkali (middle) with a consortium of financial institutions representatives.

The Minister of Transportation, Sen. Said Alkali has initiated discussions with a consortium of financial institutions keen on financing the Kano-Maradi rail project, spanning 284 kilometres and extending an additional 103 kilometres.

During the meeting held at the Ministry in Abuja, Alkali emphasised the significance of the Kano-Maradi rail project in fostering trade, providing an alternative mode of transportation and strengthening bilateral relations between Nigeria and Niger Republic.

Assuring the consortium of the Federal Government’s unwavering commitment to the project, Alkali pledged to provide all necessary documentation and responses to secure financing. He highlighted the project’s potential to stimulate economic growth in both Nigeria and Niger Republic.

In attendance were representatives from lending institutions such as the Africa Development Bank, Africa Export-Import Bank (AFREXIM), Development Bank of Southern Africa, African Finance Bank, Rand Merchant Bank and China Construction Bank.

Senior vice-president of the Africa Finance Corporation, Mohammed Abdul-Razaq revealed that the consortium is keen on providing the requisite funds to ensure timely completion of the project. He outlined the due diligence process undertaken by the consortium, including visits to project sites and engagements with key ministries.

The director of rail transport services, Zira Finbarr reiterated the trans-national nature of the project, emphasising Nigeria’s bilateral agreement with Niger Republic. He addressed concerns regarding land compensation, environmental impact assessments, and security along the rail corridor.

Director of legal services, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Pius Oteh reassured financiers regarding the project’s resilience amidst geopolitical challenges, citing existing bilateral agreements and diplomatic relations between Nigeria and Niger Republic.

Managing director of the Nigeria Railway Corporation, Engr. Fidet Okhiria affirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to enhancing security along the rail corridor through the installation of a digital security system.

The meeting underscored the collaborative efforts between the government and financial institutions to advance infrastructure development and regional connectivity, promising mutual benefits for Nigeria and Niger Republic.

Oluchi Okorafor
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