Nigeria approves construction of US $5.3bn Ibadan- Kano rail project

The Federal Government of Nigeria has approved construction of the US $5.3bn Ibadan-Kano rail line project. Transport Minister Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, confirmed the statement and said the Ministry has also applied for funding to commence coastal rail for the Port-Harcourt to Warri segment.

The minister pointed out that the Minister of Transportation for State Gbemisola Saraki, has been assigned the responsibilities of overseeing all the maritime agencies while he focuses on the railway sector.

The Lagos–Kano Standard Gauge Railway is an under construction standard gauge railway across Nigeria, from the Atlantic Ocean port of Lagos to Kano, near the Niger border. The railway will run parallel to the British-built Cape gauge line, which has a lower design capacity and is in a deteriorated condition.

The railway is being built in segments. Only the segment between Abuja and Kaduna has been completed so far, and services began officially in July 2016. The 187 km segment is an important junction point on the existing Cape gauge railway network, where a branch line departs the Lagos–Nguru line for Kafanchan, on the Port Harcourt–Maiduguri Railway.

The segment between Lagos and Ibadan is under construction. It is the is the first part of a new 2,733km Lagos-Kano standard gauge line. The line is being developed by China Civil Engineering Construction (CCECC) with an an investment of US $1.5bn from the Nigerian and Chinese governments.

Rotimi Amaechi,explained that the need for new approvals was responsible for the slow pace of work on the new Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway line. Once complete, the Lagos-Ibadan line will co-exist with the old narrow gauge track. Construction of the project is scheduled to be completed over 18 months in a six-phase manner.

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