The development of the Lagos to Kana rail line, the Nigeria-Mardi rail line, and the coastal rail line from Lagos to Calabar will impact over 24 million lives, Dr. Francis Ntamu, Former Private Sector Specialist, African Development Bank (AfDB) and Chief Economic Adviser, Cross River State Governor has said.
He said the impacts will be on the new jobs created, direct and indirect jobs, business enablement, and the impact of commuting.
He spoke in Abuja at the Abuja Transport & Aviation Correspondents Association (ATACA) Annual Seminar with the theme “Nigeria’s Troubled Economy: Aviation, Rail, Maritime as Rescue Sectors.”
He said investing in railway transportation is a catalyst for improved economic growth, poverty reduction, and inclusiveness. This is because it will boost demand for goods & services, enhances competition and new jobs, and even the flow of commodities, it will also open up regional markets & mobility of labour, impact reduction in logistic and transportation component in unit selling prices of commodities,
He said beyond business enablement, the Nigerian Coastal Rail Project will create 200,000 local jobs during the construction and around 30,000 permanent posts once the line is operational including a hinterland connection on the rail corridor. This is besides the indirect jobs that it will create.
Dr. Ntamu also indicated that the Abuja – Kaduna Rail Line has already created 4,000 local jobs in the construction of the line and hired 500 Nigerian workers in the operation and management, with several hundreds of jobs created indirectly.
On the Nigeria – Maradi Rail Line, he said a total of 23.7 million Nigerians should be (directly or indirectly) influenced economically in the project with expected development outcomes of poverty reduction (SDGs 1), regional integration and trade flows, and more.
He also said these projects have the capability to deepen of local skills (fabrication, train drivers etc.), Railway Engineering Department at UniAbuja, Transportation University in Daura, and several others.