President Muhammadu Buhari has defended his government’s initiative to build a railway line from Nigeria to Niger Republic.
Speaking during an Interview on Arise Television, Buhari revealed that his government has been able to fight insurgency in the North East due to his effective relationship with neighboring countries, Niger Republic, Chad and Cameroon.
The President also said Nigeria has first family members in the African country hence his decision to build railway lines Kano to Maradi.
“How many neighbours do we have? You have to cultivate your relationship with your neighbours, if you don’t, you are in trouble.”
“Just as we have yorubas in Benin Republic, we have Fulanis, Kanuris and others in Niger,”
“Moreso, I have first cousins and relatives in Niger, I shouldn’t just cut them off,” Mr Buhari said.”
“Niger has discovered oil, we want them to transport their products through Nigeria instead of Benin by building rail (to Maradi) and good roads,” Buhari said.
It will be recalled that the Kano-Maradi project has been widely criticised by Nigerians who are wondering why the President will take on such a project when the country is currently facing deep financial problems.
The project which is to cost $1.9 billion has been described as a wasteful investment by Russian-based financial institution, Renaissance Capital.