Since coming to power in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari promised to, among other things, rehabilitate the railway subsector. The advantages of such a move are staggering. It would ease transportation, reduce destruction of roads, reduce accidents, reduce cost of production, create more jobs, enhance informal businesses along the rail’s numerous stations, and many more.

When the project was finally started, many of us cried foul due to the nomenclature used: Lagos-Kano project. That means the work was to commence from Lagos end. In many cases when government starts such project and leaves without completing it, the project is abandoned. For that reason we called on our leaders including Senators and Members of the National Assembly to intervene and ensure that the project is started on both sides. After all the length of rail is over 1000km. We didn’t succeed and the project commenced from one end: Lagos.

The initial plan was for the Lagos-Kano project to be completed in 2019. So far, in June 2020, only 156km (Lagos to Ibadan) has been completed. And just last week we read in the papers that the FGN has approved #123b for the Ibadan-Kano railway project.

It took them 5 years to complete 156km. The Ibadan- Kano rail would consist of 4 sections:
Ibadan-Ilorin 200km
Ilorin-Minna 270km
Minna-Kaduna-Kano 300km
Total 870km.

If they maintain the same speed (32km per year), it would take them 30years to reach Kano.

For this reason, our leaders need to raise up to their responsibilities. This project should be renamed Kano-Ibadan railway. If we are lucky by 2023 we may reach Zaria and if we get to Kaduna at least we would succeed in reducing the risk associated with Kano-Abuja road.

By: Mustapha Muhammad Maihadis, from Kano, Kano State, Nigeria.

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