Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state has said that his administration is considering building a light rail system that will transverse Kaduna metropolis and that the government will work with the National Institute of Transport Technology (NITT) on the feasibility studies.
The governor also said that NITT will work with Kaduna State Government on traffic surveys for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System which is already “in place and for which we have gotten credit offer from the French government to build.’’
El-Rufai who revealed this when the Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki and management of NITT paid him a courtesy visit on Thursday, argued that the survey is to verify the economic viability of such project.
The governor described NITT as a key agency of the Federal Government whose presence is felt in Kaduna state, adding that it has “not just provided jobs for many of our citizens but it has worked very closely with the state government in the areas of transport technology and assistance in many areas.’’
El-Rufai promised that Kaduna State Government will assist NITT in the development of the National Transportation Data Bank, adding that ‘’we just need to know what we need to do and we will do it.’’
The governor expressed appreciation for the Kaduna-Abuja rail line but also appealed to the Ministry of Transportation ‘’to consider making the frequencies of the train system more than what it is now because it is always fully booked. ‘’
‘’There are areas of constraints with the Covid-19 pandemic, but I think that the way our figures are going down with the rollout of the vaccination, there are going to be far more movements within the country, and particularly on that route.
“So, we would like the ministry to consider increasing the frequencies and completing the protection of the rail line from cattle and humans, so that the trains can run at a faster rate,’’ he pleaded.
Earlier, the Minister of State said that the ministry is aware of the numerous efforts that El-Rufai has undertaken in improving the transport sector ‘’through the provision of a reliable means of transportation for the teeming people of Kaduna state as well as construction of good road networks, not only within Kaduna township but across major local government areas in the state.’’
Senator Saraki acknowledged Kaduna State Government’s support to NITT, adding that ‘’we are particularly grateful for approving the allocation of 80 hectares of land for the Jatropha plantation, for the production of bio-fuel, which is aimed at reducing the dependency on petroleum products.’’
‘’I must thank His Excellency for approving research projects, such as registration of commercial vehicle drivers in Kaduna state, transport regulation and transport infrastructure facility as well as training of the state traffic officials to the institute,’’ she added.