President Muhammadu Buhari has on Tuesday flagged off the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kano-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradi railway project with a branch line to Dutse in Jigawa State.

Speaking virtually at Kwarin Tama village in Katsina State, the venue of the ceremony, the president said that the project, when completed, would enhance economic activities, particularly the trans-Saharan trade between the two countries.

He urged private investors to take full advantage of the opportunity and engage in legitimate businesses aim at transforming the nation’s economy.

According to the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, the rail line is crucial to railway development in Nigeria and is actually the last section of the corridor that connects the Lagos-Kano rail line with the Niger Republic through the border town of Maradi.

The project handled by a Portuguese firm is expected to have a total of 15 stations and also expected to facilitate trade in the West African sub-region.

The new standard gauge of 284 km traverses Kano—Dambatta—Kazaure—Daura—Mashi—Katsina to Maradi in Niger Republic.