The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has said that at about $2billion will be required to revive the Lagos Kano rail.
He said the revival of the railway station will boost local and international trade along the northern and southern zones.
The Vice President made this known through the Lagos State Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna, when he (Osinbajo) spoke at the Lagos-Kano economic and investment summit held at the jubilee chalets in Epe, Lagos, said the federal government in partnership with a private firm, General Electric (GE) is already proposing to invest in the project to enhance the movement of cargo from Apapa ports to Kano via the rail line.
While commending Lagos and Kano state governors for creating a platform to collaborate for economic growth, he expressed optimism that such initiatives would open up the investment opportunities that abound in both states to would-be investors both locally and internationally.
“I believe that Lagos and Kano states have by this collaboration underscored the cornerstone of the federal government’s economic recovery and growth plan, namely the leveraging of synergies among states and between government and the private sector.
“The strategic role of the federal government is of course to create an enabling environment for commerce beginning with the provision of infrastructure.
“For us, what this meant especially in the context of this collaboration is the refurbishing of the narrow gauge Lagos to Kano rail with a concession to general electric who are proposing to invest almost $2billion to ensure that the rail route is effective for movement of cargo from Apapa port to Kano.
“Similarly, we are investing in the Lagos to Kano standard gauge line, the Lagos Ibadan portion of that is expected to be ready by the end of this year.
We have budgeted N80billion for the development of special economic zones in the six geopolitical zones of the country,”
The Vice President further stated that arrangements have been firmed up to establish independent power projects to specifically service printers in Shomolu area and traders in Sura market.
He said the Federal Government would keep a close tab on the decisions reached the summit and would use it direct its engagement with state governments going forward.
“Let me again commend Governor’s Ganduje and Ambode for this summit.
I want to commend Governor Ganduje for making the long journey to Lagos. I must also say that governor Ambode deserves special mention for his foresightedness in establishing this collaboration, working with Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi on the famous lake rice and even leasing land from Ogun state to grow rice which I think is another act of collaboration,” Osinbajo said.
Meanwhile, the State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, said the decision of the state government to join the Oodua investment group triggered what has evolved over the last two years to become a signpost for effective partnerships between Lagos and other states.
He said with the current economic challenges facing the nation, there was no better time for states to begin to look beyond an oil-driven economy and take advantage of their comparative advantages to engender economic growth.
“We urge other states and regions to begin to leverage on their respective areas of comparative advantage by establishing partnerships towards establishing an inter-state or inter-regional commodity value chain.
“The idea of an intra and inter-regional trade and cooperation is not new to Lagos state. Over the past years, our state has collaborated with Kebbi and other states from within the western region to drive economic growth and development.”