The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has knocked President Muhammadu Buhari for approving $1.9 billion for the construction of a rail line linking Nigeria to Niger Republic.
Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, in a chat with The Punch, said: “The problem of this regime is that it has never got its priorities right and at the end of the day, Nigerians are the ones who suffer from these poor choices by these people.
“Let’s even look at it from the point of view of the economy. What is the economic benefit of this project to Nigeria. The Nigerian economy, as it is today, is not in a state to contain this kind of wasteful spending.”
Malachy Ugwummadu, a former President of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, said: “It is a misplacement of priority and insensitivity to the needs and plight of the people by a government that faces imminent and impending strike action by the organised labour centres and civil society partners in response to their illegal and obnoxious increases in the prices of petroleum commodities, the hike in electricity tariff and VAT, all within the devastating COVID-19 period.”
The Federal Government on Wednesday approved a $1.9 billion contract for the rail line at a meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, told State House correspondents at the end of the meeting that the money approved for the development of the proposed rail line linking Kano-Dutse-Katsina-Jibia and to Maradi in Niger Republic was inclusive of Value Added Tax.
The rail line is designed to connect three Northern states – Kano, Katsina and Jigawa states – as well as seven senatorial districts.
The 248-kilometre line is expected to aid the transportation of crude oil.