Reopening of Lagos-Kano Railway Line, Major Rebound for Nigeria’s Economy – TDF.

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The Democratic Front (TDF) has described the repair and reopening of the Lagos-Kano railway line for freight operations as a major boost for the economy.

It said in a statement signed by its Chairman, Danjuma Mohammed and Secretary, Wale Adedayo that the commencement of service on the railway line is the culmination of silent work by the President Bola Tinubu administration to get things done with minimum fuss.

The statement read: “We laud and celebrate the completion of repair works and reopening of the long-abandoned Lagos-Kano Railway Line by the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“Our joy and excitement can only be understood within the context of the memorable contributions of the 1,132km railway Line to the economic, social, political and cultural development of Nigeria.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the iconic railway line was the bedrock of Nigeria’s cash crop exports to the outside world under the colonial administrations from 1898 to decades after the country’s independence in October 1960.

“Aside from the Rivers Niger and Benue which are natural pivots in the making of Nigeria’s geo-political circumstances, the Lagos-Kano Railway Line was a major connector for trade, political, economic, and socio cultural relationships between the South and the Northern parts of Nigeria.

“It is, however, sad that succeeding administrations in Nigeria neglected such a critical transport infrastructure and abandoned it to years of decay, at the advent of crude oil as the mainstay of the country’s economy, to the detriment of the nation’s Socio-Economic advancement.

“The abandonment of the Lagos-Kano Railway Line, which stems from the refusal of successive administrations to invest adequately in railway transportation until former President Muhammadu Buhari came onboard, was the beginning of the decline of Nigeria’s Economy of the 1970s.

“Happily though, President Tinubu has taken a bold step to reverse the declining situation by rehabilitating the Lagos-Kano railway line, among other infrastructural projects, to boost food supply and revive the ailing economy.

” We are convinced that the resumption of transport operations on the Lagos-Kano railway route, will bring back the lost glory of socio-cultural interactions and integrations among the diverse ethnic groups of Nigeria, which the rail transportation system facilitated many decades ago .

“The development will also drastically reduce the rising cost of food prices, and help resuscitate all dead or epileptic economic activities in markets and communities along the rail route.

“For us, the accomplishment of such a gigantic infrastructural feat resonates the wisdom behind President Bola Tinubu’s decision to present a national budget of overwhelming capital expenditure component in the 2024 Appropriation Act, the first time in 25 years.

“This major achievement by the President reinforces our position in the TDF, that the President needs time, support and stability in the polity, to put Nigeria in her pride of place among the comity of great nations of the world.”

The group also used the opportunity to urge Organised Labour to see reason with the Tinubu administration on the minimum wage crisis.

“We also strongly appeal to the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to accept federal government’s offer of a N62,000 minimum wage and also desist from any further action capable of heating up or destabilizing the polity.

“As a responsible organization, we are not averse to the need for a wage increase for Nigerian workers but It is our opinion that wages should be increased only as an incentive for efficiency, effectiveness and upward productivity, not as a factor for mitigating the effects of inflation in the country.

“This is because the trajectory of wage increases in Nigeria, from the salary award of the Udoji Commission of 1974 till date, shows that wage/salary increases intrinsically amplify multi-dimensional inflation in the economy,”it added.

TDF is of the view that Labour should see itself as partners in the Federal Government’s quest to expand the economic base of the country through massive investment in infrastructure

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