-The Federal Government of Nigeria has reached an agreement with Niger Republic to build a new refinery in the border town between the Republic of Niger and Kastina State, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources has said.
-The technical agreement, which is to be signed soon, would include building of crude oil pipeline from Niger to the new refinery.
-This was disclosed yesterday as the outcome of a delegation led by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu to the President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou and the Energy Minister of that country, Foumakoye Gado.
It had said on its Twitter handle that the visit “to Niger Republic will lead to a definite agreement for the design and construction of a new refinery to be located at a border town between Nigeria and Niger.”
While the All Progressives Congress (APC)- lead government has failed in its promise to build at least one refinery each year, the move would boost availability of petroleum products in the country, the petroleum ministry said.
Also on guardian publication of 23 January 2018 President Buhari said
“negotiations are also advanced for the construction of other railway lines, firstly from Kano to Maradi in Niger Republic passing through Kazaure, Daura, Katsina, Jibia to Maradi.”
The questions that have been thrown up are: What is the rationale behind constructing a 55-kilometre rail line to Maradi, a city in Niger Republic? Has the Federal Government connected all cities and important towns in Nigeria to a railway network that serves the nation’s economy? Could this plan not be interpreted as part of the much-touted consolidation of a certain hegemonic tendency that is causing tension in the country? Of what economic benefit would the rail line be to Nigeria?
Where are the funds coming from? Is there any special consideration for those areas that produce the nation’s wealth in the railway plan? Who is advising Mr. President or to whom has he been listening in the last one year on all the issues crying for serious and statesman-like attention? Is there indeed a cabal that has taken hold of President Buhari and whose interest is at variance with the collective will?