The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi Monday, said President Muhammadu Buhari was not aware that the planned rail line was going to pass through his home town in Daura, Katsina.
Mr Amaechi said President Buhari approved rail lines from Kano to Daura and Jibia local government areas of Katsina – but was initially unaware of the development.
“The President summoned myself and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, that we should go ahead with infrastructural development and he specifically told me that I must connect the 36 states capital by rail. It is a huge assignment.
“By the directive of the President, We are currently designing a railway that would connect Gusau, Sokoto and Kebbi.
“Transporting people from Benin Republic to Apapa seaport is not easy and to connect them from Benin Republic to Madakali; a border town in Kebbi, you need to pass through Daura and Jibia local government area.
“In fact, the railway to Yenagoa would have gone to Port Harcourt without passing through Otuoke but President Jonathan took it first to Otuoke, linked it to Yenagoa before connecting it to Port Harcourt.
“I must also ask, what is wrong with that because Otuoke or Daura is also part of Nigeria, I don’t see anything wrong with that.”
The Managing Director of Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Fidet Okhiria, said the designs were done before Buhari became President.
“Those designs were in place before the President took over. The President is only trying to implement it and make it work. So, it is a feasibility study that has been in place.”