The kano Integrity and Justice Forum (KIJF), an independent organization of elder statesmen, academics, professionals, businessmen, Non-Governmental Organisations and other Related fields have reiterated their support for the state government’s willingness to develop Light Rail Transit Project in Metropolitan Kano.
The KIJF’s position comes out after the Bashir Tofa-led group known as Kano concern citizens kicked against the project.
The Kano integrity forums position was contained in a communique issued at the end of a one-day seminar organized by the forum with a view to obtaining private and public responses on the project which held at Bristol Palace Hotel, Kano.
The communique, which was jointly signed by the chairman and secretary of the forum,Prof. Abdu Salihi and Dr. Garba Shehu respectively, indicated that Kano city is a major commercial and industrial centre in Nigeria and the African Sub-Saharan region dating back to centuries and therefore, the need for the development of its transportation infrastructure to cope with increasing needs and demands locally and Globally.
It said that while considering the economic challenges and disadvantages before every individuals, families, and businesses, the implementation of the Light Rail project will open opportunities for the benefit of every individual nationwide.
To further buttress its claim, KIJF said that various cities in Nigeria, Africa and the world over, are exploring some favorable development and financing options like Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) and concession to develop their societies and build import structures that will improve the quality of life of its citizen.
While citing some of the problems associated with projects that included the higher capital cost, lower proportion of seats to standees, inflexibility of roots, disruption to traffic and business during construction, the communique, however, contended that the benefits out weight the problems.
The communique suggested that ‘’the state government should explore the vast availability of using a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with some serious-minded private sector participants like Dangote Group Investments or a consortium of local financiers as the project commences and progresses, consider the idea of concession, which shall be explored in a similar way to what obtains in the telecommunication and airlines sectors,
It also called for a review of the 2012 Kano State Transport Master Plan, which should serve as a Road Map and means of guiding the city towards solving many transportation challenges now and in the future.’’.