NIGERIA’S Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a contract worth Naira 453.9bn ($US 984.7m) to supply rolling stock, operational and maintenance equipment for the 284km standard-gauge line currently under construction between Kano and Maradi in Niger.

Minister of Transportation, Mr Mu’azu Sambo, said that his ministry had presented a memorandum to the FEC, chaired by Nigeria’s president, Mr President Muhammadu Buhari, on behalf of Nigerian Railways Corporation (NRC).

NRC sought approval to award the rolling stock and equipment contract to the company which is building the new line. The contract has a completion period of four years, according to Sambo.

The Nigerian section of the Kano - Maradi line is being designed and built by Portuguese construction firm Mota-Engil under a contract awarded by the Nigerian government in January 2021, which also included financing the $US 1.96bn project.

A groundbreaking ceremony was later held on February 9 2021 when construction of the single-track line was due to take two years and eight months to complete.

The new line will serve 15 stations, and initial traffic is forecast at 9364 passengers and 3000 tonnes of freight a day.

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