Muhammadu Buhari has defended his administration’s decision to spend $1.9 billion on Niger Republic rail project.
Speaking in an interview with broadcast on Arise TV, President explained that his family members are living there. His decision to build rail lines from Kano to the country was to allow his Niger relatives have access to Nigeria.
“I have cousins, family members, etc., in Niger Republic. I shouldn’t just cut them off,” Mr Buhari said.
He added that transportation of oil from the neighbouring country to Nigeria and job creation is one of the other reasons for constructing the rail line to Niger Republic.
In January last year, President Buhari approved and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the construction firm, Mota-Engil Group, for the project, which was widely criticized by the public.
Concerns were also raised as to why Nigeria will bear the cost of a project meant to boost bilateral trade between the two countries.
Defending the project, minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi explained that the rail line, expected to travel through Kano, Kastina and Jigawa in Nigeria’s North-West to Maradi in the Niger Republic would boast the country’s bilateral trade.