Niger State government has called on the Federal Government to use the proximity of Niger to the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and consider construction of Niger-Abuja rail line as the next priority in the list of rail lines to be constructed.
The Niger government also charged President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to make deliberate plan to make Minna airport an international cargo airport.
Niger State Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Jonathan Vatsa made this known at the weekend in Minna, that the call has become imperative because the proximity of Niger State to the FCT should be a leverage for the socio- economic development of Nigeria.
Vatsa noted that Niger State has the historical record of being an economic melting pot with the existence of the famous Baro port and the railway transit through Mokwa, Minna, Akare, Wushishi and Gwada.
The commissioner stated that it is wise that with the recent inauguration of the Abuja-Kaduna rail line by President Muhammadu Buhari, which was jointly financed by the Federal Government of Nigeria and China Exim Bank; the same gesture should be advocated for the state as deliberate policy aimed at economic expansion of not only the state but the Federal Capital Territory.
While congratulating the federal government for a successful inauguration of the Abuja-Kaduna rail line, the government through the State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, said it is more justifying because Niger State is the gateway between the North and the South.
According to him, “the federal government and indeed the Minister of Transport, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi should consider the proximity between Niger and Abuja and ensure a rail line project begins in earnest”.
“The Federal government should put our closeness to the FCT and our connecting rail link over the years between north and the south into cognisance. They should remember us now, with the Baro port, the rail line will be very important because from Baro port, it will be easier to convey agricultural produce, livestock and even solid mineral resources to Abuja and other parts of the country,” he declared.
Vatsa said “we trust Mr. President when he assured Nigerians that most state capitals and major commercial and production centres will be linked with railway system as a way of bringing about rapid socio-economic development and improving the quality of life of Nigerians and promoting social & regional integration, but it should start from Niger State based on the aforementioned reasons”.
“ We have very good airport here in Minna that can serve as an international cargo airport, which can serve the economic purpose of the FCT while the Nnamdi Azikiwe airport serve other purposes, we trust the president that he will look into some of the issues for the overall economic development of Nigeria” the Commissioner added.
He stated that the Niger State government will continue to support the APC government at the federal level and seek for the government cooperation for the development of the state.

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