The proposed Kano Metro Light Rail project has been in the eyes of the storm in recent days with the Kwankwasiyya group threatening to write the China Export-Import Bank to stop the loan for the project.
Reacting, the state government said it does not intend to withdraw from its intention to access the loan for the construction of the project, notwithstanding the criticism.
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This, it said, was because the light rail project was conceived after due consultations with major stakeholders in the state and it was agreed to be a viable project that will expand commercial activities, and ease transportation of agricultural goods and services across the state for the benefit of the good people of the state.
On October 10, 2016, the state house of assembly approved $1,850,839,098.00 as the total cost of the project.
The federal government’s approval soon followed.
Daily Trust reports that the state government had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with China Railway Construction Group C18 for the project.
The first phase of the construction, at that time, was billed to take two years, while the second phase of the four-line rail was expected to take another two years.
The consortium of China Railway 18th Bureau Group and China Railway Construction Electrification Bureau Group will construct phases 1 and 2 of the network, which have a total length of 74.3km and a maximum design speed of 100km/h, according to an article on the International Railway Journal.
“Upon completion, the light rail is expected to cover Janguza-Bata, Jogana-Bata, Dawanau-Bata and Kwanar Dawaki-Bata routes in Kano city,” the state governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje was quoted to have said.
A committee, tagged the Light Rail Committee, was thereafter set up under the chairmanship of Alhaji Isiaku Umar Tofa.
The commissioner of information, Muhammad Garba, told Daily Trust that the China Export-Import Bank which will shoulder 85% of the financial size of the project has also given its approval.
The approval, according to him, was conveyed by the China Export-Import Bank through the federal government.
Accordingly, the commissioner of information said since the foreign loan has already been approved by the China Export-Import Bank, the government would go ahead with the projects and the state lawmakers have recommended the contractor Messrs CR18G-CRCEGJV to commence with Lot 1 which starts from Dawanau Grains Market to Bata, being Phase 1 of the project and to be completed within 20 months.
However, the state government recently wrote to the state house of assembly to amend some terms of the loan.
The amendment included the re-validation of N105million as advanced payment of consultancy services.
The external loan of €684,100,100.00 to be sourced and payable in 15 years with three years moratorium.
Briefing journalists after the proceedings, the Majority Leader of the House, Kabiru Hassan Dashi, said the house approved the new amendment and approved that the request be sent to the Senate.