By Ignatius Ushie

Infinity Tyres

The Minister of Transportation, Sen. Saidu Ahmed Alkali has assured the Kaduna State Government of the Ministry’s support as it seeks to embark on provision of metropolitan rail mass transit scheme.

In a statement signed by the Special Assistant on Media to the Minister of Transportation,  Moh’d Ahmed Yidikawu, Sen. Alkali who made this disclosure during a courtesy visit by a  8-man delegation from the Kaduna State Government to the Ministry in Abuja stated that the ingenuity of the Kaduna State Governor, Uba Sani to place primacy on viable means of transportation should be commended and given the necessary support it deserves.

Furthermore, the Minister gave assurances of the Ministry’s support and his interest to partake at every level of discussion that will enable the scheme commence.

Speaking further, Alkali noted that the initiative is timely as it is in consonance with Mr. President’s charge to State Governors to proffer palliative measures to cushion the effects of petroleum subsidy removal on Nigerians.

This is even as he urged other State Governors to take a cue from this initiative.

Earlier, the leader of the delegation and Kaduna State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Muhammed Sani Bello, stated that the reason for the visit was to acquaint and solicit for the Minister’s support on the project, stating that the train mass transit initiative has the propensity to better the lot of the people and the State’s revenue base as a viable transport sector is the bedrock of development. 

According to the Bello, the request for Federal Government’s support for a collaborative effort on this initiative will actualize the State Governor’s desire to connect various parts of Kaduna metropolis and environs with network of rail services that are much cheaper and convenient.

Also speaking at the event, the Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Engr. Fidet Okhiria, informed the Minister that Kaduna State Government and Plateau State have approached the Management of NRC and indicated interest to commence the programme as a way of cushioning the effects subsidy following the high rise in transportation cost. 

After detailed discussions, the Minister directed the constitution of a Technical Committee consisting of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Nigeria Railway Corporation, Kaduna State Government with a timeline of 5 days to produce a Memorandum of Understanding.

Other members of the delegation included: Engr. Sani Askira, Dr. Mustapha Musa, the Managing Director, Kaduna State Mass Transit Scheme, Dr. Inuwa Ibrahim, Bashir Umar Lere, Commissioner for Public Works, Aminu Abdullahi Shagari, and Hamisu Abduljabbar Tukur.