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Amaechi states why building railway to Maradi, Niger Republic

When asked why it was so important to extend the rail to Maradi, Amaechi explained that Niger Republic is a landlocked country and has to rely on entrepot trade which means it has to export and import through intermediary countries.

The minister said due to insecurity and poor road infrastructure as well as extortion by security agents, Niger Republic and Chad preferred exporting and importing their goods through Benin Republic, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Togo.

He argued that the new rail would help Nigeria to compete and this would expand the economy.

Amaechi added, “Why are they not exporting through Nigeria? They say o, your roads are bad. So, the railway takes care of that. They say customs is difficult, customs will impose charges that are not charged in Benin Republic.

“They say immigration does not allow them. Even when they pass all these, there are police checkpoints on the road, customs checkpoints on the road, immigration checkpoints on the road. Then communities have their own checkpoints on the road, armed robbers attack them on the road.

So, they prefer to go where it is safe and cheaper to do business.

“So, all we are saying is we come to Maradi, we build offices, we build a warehouse, you put your things in the warehouse, you deal with customs at Maradi, deal with immigration at Maradi, deal with police, whatever you need to check. Once you put the goods on top of the wagon, it goes straight to Lagos.

When it gets to Lagos, straight to the ship because the things you would do in Lagos, you would have done in Maradi.”

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