Social media aide to the president Lauretta Onochie says former President Goodluck Jonathan initiated the Kano-Niger Republic rail line and that President Muhammadu Buhari deserves praise for not discarding the project.
Mrs Onochie stated this in a tweet on Monday amid backlash from the public after the Federal Government signed a $1.96 billion contract for the development of the rail line last week.
“PRES. BUHARI DESERVES PRAISE. Our continuity President is only continuing where his predecessor stopped,” she wrote.
“Although the bilateral agreement setting up the rail line between Niger and Nigeria was signed by the previous administration, @MBuhari is making it happen.”
The rail line will go through Kano-Jigawa-Katsina-Jibia to Maradi in Niger Republic.
The total cost of $1,959,744,723.71, according to the Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi, is inclusive of 7.5 per cent VAT.
Former Vice President Namadi Sambo had in 2013 announced the government’s plan to build a rail line connecting to Niger Republic.
Sambo spoke of the rail line during a reception organised by the Zazzau Emirate in honour of Governor Muktar Yero of Kaduna State at the emir’s palace in Zaria.