Nigeria Awards $6.6bn Rail Project to Chinese Firm

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By Solomon Elusoji in Beijing

The China Railway Construction Co. (CRCC) has announced that Nigeria has contracted it to work on a rail line that connects Lagos and Kano.

The project, which is scheduled to be delivered within 48 months, will cost $6.681 billion.

In a press bulletin Thursday, CRCC said the project will contain feeders from Osogbo to Ado-Ekiti.

The project’s main line is the Ibadan to Kaduna segment, which is 616.14km in length. New double-track and single-track rail lines will also be built along the routes with a spur section that is 80.88km long. The rail line’s speed, according to the CRCC bulletin, will be 150km/h.

Low interest loans from the Chinese government are expected to help Nigeria facilitate the financing of the project.

In March, the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, had noted that the commencement of the Ibadan-Kaduna railway project was hinged on the approval of a loan request forwarded to the China’s Export-Import Bank.

Nigeria’s first standard gauge railway tracks, which start from Idu, near Abuja, to Rigasa in Kaduna and was launched in late 2017, was also partly financed by the China Export-Import Bank, which provided $500 million as a concessionary loan.