How I initiated, approved funds for Abuja-Kaduna railway project – Makarfi

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A former Governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, had claimed that he played a critical role in the initiation of the Abuja-Kaduna section of the railway project.

Makarfi, a presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, made the claim during an interactive session with journalists at the weekend in Minna.

The project was conceived by former, President Olusegun Obasanjo, while the track laying for the single standard gauge line was officially launched in July 2013 by the past administration of Goodluck Jonathan.

However, the project was stalled due to inadequate funding before it was eventually revived by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 and inaugurated in July 2016.

But the former Acting National Chairman of the PDP said that as a member of the committee set up by Obasanjo to review and revamp the entire Nigerian Railway system, he (Makarfi) recommended the inclusion of the Abuja-Kaduna section.

“I was in that committee that President Obasanjo set up on the review of the Nigerian Railway system and how to revamp it.

“And before he left, he awarded the contract and because I was in that committee as a member, I recommended that Abuja rail lines should be linked to Kaduna and it was incorporated,” he explained.

According to him, the contract was awarded by Obasanjo and feasibility studies were paid for by the late President Umaru Yar’adua’s administration.

Makarfi also claimed that he approved the request for $50million to finance it as the Chairman Senate Committee on Finance when funding to continue the project became a problem under Jonathan.

“I had the pleasure of approving the money when I was there and that is how you have the Kaduna-Abuja railway lines. But when they come to talk, they talk as if you know they had a hand in this,” he noted.



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