Senator Ahmed Makarfi has disclosed that he played an important role in the commencement of the Abuja-Kaduna section of the railway project of the FGN. Makarfi, a former governor of Kaduna state, made this disclosure spoke with newsmen in Minna, Niger state over the weekend.
The Abuja-Kaduna rail project was conceived during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo. A committee which included Makarfi was set up by the president to review the entire Nigerian Railway system. According to the former governor, the rail project was awarded as a contract under Obasanjo while President Yar’adua paid for the feasibility studies of the project.
The inclusion of former governor in the committee gave him the opportunity to recommend the Abuja-Kaduna section. The project was delayed due to financial challenges in 2013 by President Goodluck Jonathan. President Buhari resuscitated the project in 2015 and it was launched in 2016.
I was in that committee that President Obasanjo set up on the review of the Nigerian Railway system and how to revamp it. And before he left, he awarded the contract and because I was in that committee as a member, I recommended that Abuja rail lines should be linked to Kaduna and it was incorporated,” he explained.
Co-incidentally, Markafi was the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance under President Jonathan. He approved $50 Million for the continuance of the project as the committee chairman. “I had the pleasure of approving the money when I was there and that is how you have the Kaduna-Abuja railway lines. But when they come to talk, they talked as if you know they had a hand in this,” Makarfi concluded.
Senator Ahmed Makarfi served as the Executive Governor of Kaduna state from 1999 to 2007. He went on to represent the Kaduna North senatorial district at the Nigerian senate from 2007 to 2011. He is looking to contest for the presidential election in 2019 under the umbrella of the People’s Democratic Party.