Nigeria coastal rail line: Govt signs $11.97b contract with China

28 November 2014

The planned 1,402 km coastal rail line from Lagos to Calabar got underway last week, with the signing of $11.97 billion contract between the Federal Government and China.
The deputy chairman of China Railway Construction Corporation-China-Africa Construction Limited, Cao Baogang, signed the deal with the Transport Minister, Senator Idris Audu Umar, in Abuja.

The railway will run through 10 states of the Southeast and the Southsouth’s Niger Delta, terminating at Calabar, the Cross River State capital.

The trains for the route will travel at 120km/h and stop at 22 stations.

The construction of the rail line will create an estimated 50,000 jobs directly and an additional 150,000 indirectly, while it will generate, after completion, between 20,000 to 30,000 jobs.

The project will contribute nearly $4 billion of Chinese construction equipment, rolling stock, steel and electro-mechanical equipment exports, said Meng Fengchao, chairman and party secretary of China Railway Construction Corporation.

Meanwhile, Nigerians will begin to enjoy a new train service from the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), from next year, a top official of the corporation has said.
The source, who craved anonymity, said in his office last week, that passengers would be able to connect the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja from Lagos before December next year. He said passengers would make Abuja from Lagos in three hours, same for a return trip.

He said the project, which would be the flagship of the transformed train service, would be made possible by the standard gauge tracks being built by the Federal Government.
It would complement the Eastern line running from Port-Harcourt to Maiduguri, the first phase of which would come on stream next month.

He said government began the phased construction of the standard gauge few years ago, adding that while some have been completed, others are at advanced stage. Some of them, he said, have just taken off to be completed before the third quarter of next year.

He said: “The Federal Government is building a new rail corridor for this initiative and it is being embarked upon in phases because it is capital intensive.

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