The Federal Government said that it has reached agreement with Mota Engil, a company it awarded the Kano-Maradi rail project, to build a Multi-disciplinary University in Rivers State.
The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi disclosed this in a Tweet on Monday.
He said since the government is already building a university of transportation in Daura, it decided to chose Rivers State as the location for the Multi-disciplinary University.
Amaechi said, “We already have a Transportation University being built in Daura. So we have decided that the Portuguese Company in charge of Kano-Maradi rail line, Mota Engil will build a Multi-disciplinary University in Rivers State as a major component of their Corporate Social Responsibility.”
The Federal Government had awarded the controversial rail project linking Nigeria to Niger Republic to a Portuguese construction firm in January this year.
The Federal Executive Council had in September 2020, approved $1.95bn for the construction of Kano-Dutse(Jigawa)- Katsina- Jibia – Maradi (Niger Republic) rail line project.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party and some civil rights groups had taken a swipe at the government, saying the project was a misplacement of priority in a country facing intractable problems of insecurity and harsh economic conditions arising from hikes in fuel price and electricity tariff.
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbindiyan, had stated, “The problem of this administration is that it has never got its priorities right and at the end of the day, Nigerians are the ones who suffer from these poor choices by these people.
While announcing the project in January Amaechi had said, “Today, we signed the contract documents for the commencement of the Kano-Maradi, Kano-Dutse railway project. The contractor, Mota-Engil Group, a Multinational Engineering and Construction firm has also agreed to build a University as part of their CSR while working on the project.
“The second one is the award of contract for the development of the proposed Kano- Dutsi -Katsina-Jibia to Maradi rail line in Niger Republic and to Dutse, the capital of Jigawa, for a total cost of $1,959,744,723.71, inclusive of 7.5 per cent VAT.”