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Nigeria 2023 Elections: Gubernatorial Results (Source:INEC)

Only opposition politicians will criticise Kano-Maradi rail line — NRC Chair

Chairman, Governing Board of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Mal Ibrahim Alhassan Musa, has said only opposition politicians would criticise the newly launched Kano-Maradi rail…

Chairman, Governing Board of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Mal Ibrahim Alhassan Musa, has said only opposition politicians would criticise the newly launched Kano-Maradi rail line crisscrossing three states in Nigeria and extending to the Niger Republic.

Musa, who spoke with our correspondent on the sidelines of the ground-breaking of the 284-km rail line, reiterated that the project actually predated the present government.

He lamented that Nigerian politicians are unable to draw the lines between politics and governance.

He recalled that the project in question was conceived during the last administration but the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration came in and inherited the feasibility studies.

According to him, upon inheriting the feasibility studies, the government decided to implement the project after ascertaining its viability.

He explained that the project was part of the Lagos Kano and Jibiya Economic Belt (LAKAJEB) recommended by the USAID and the EU.

He said: “When you look at the people talking, these are politicians and politics is about saying what your opponents do is not right, you would come and do better things.

“There is no politician in the opposition that will tell you, you have done well.

“They always want to find fault. Even if you put food in your mouth, they would say it is stale.

“So, it is politics by and large and unfortunately in Nigeria, we don’t know where to draw the line between politics and serving the country.

“In other climes, once elections are over, you leave politics aside you all join hands to do what is good for the country.

“But in Nigeria, unless it is done to me and even when it is done to me, you say it’s second grade.

“For instance, when you come in as a government and you see a good idea which would serve the people, you don’t have to jettison it or call for another feasibility studies, just dust it up. If it is a good idea, implement it.

“For instance, the Lagos-Ibadan-Kaduna-Kano was conceived during Obasanjo’s time but he didn’t do it.

“He had money, about $60bn in the foreign reserve and the cost of the project was just $8.5bn.

“He could have paid for it and get it done within four years as it was designed that time but God didn’t give him the chance to do it, maybe there were other reasons, maybe he thought he could do it better later but he left without doing it.

“Yar’Adua came, looked at it, segmented it and chose to do Kaduna-Abuja.

“Goodluck Jonathan regime considered the Lagos-Ibadan but he did not award it.

“But this government now came and awarded that contract, did a groundbreaking, it is even dual track.”