President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, has insisted that Nigeria is not building a rail line into Niger Republic.
The Federal Government this week approved a $1,959,744,723.71 contract for the rail line.
It will connect at least seven cities in Nigeria and one city in Niger Republic.
The move has, however, been met with huge backlash, with HURIWA threatening to sue President Buhari.
However, in a series of tweets on Thursday, Shehu clarified the rail line will stop at the designated border point.
According to him, this was part of an agreement reached between both nations in 2015 and coordinated by the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission for Cooperation.
Shehu further noted that “the objective of the rail is the harnessing of raw materials, mineral resources and agricultural produce” and the rail line will “play the role of a viable transportation backbone to the West African subregion”.
He wrote: “Nigeria isn’t building a rail line into Niger, but only to the designated Border point.
“An agreement between Nigeria and Niger in 2015, coordinated by the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission for Cooperation has a plan for “Kano-Katsina-Maradi Corridor Master Plan, (K2M)” as it is called.
“Going by this, the two nations would each build a rail track to meet at the border town of Maradi.
“The objective of the rail is the harnessing of raw materials, mineral resources and agricultural produce.
“When completed, it will serve domestic industries and play the role of a viable transportation backbone to the West African subregion, starting with the neighboring Niger Republic for their export and import logistic chain.”