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Nigeria’s R500 billion railway plan is on track

Nigeria has started on a R546 billion railway expansion project that will reduce the country’s dependence on oil and diversify its struggling economy.

The country plans to implement and improve transport links to allow the movement of goods around the country and its ports.

“The plan we have now will go to every nook and corner,” said Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi, in an interview.

Africa’s biggest oil producer is going through its worst economic collapse in 25 years. This after the country witnessed a plunge in the price and output of oil, which accounts for more than 90% of foreign income and two-thirds of government revenue.

As presented by President Muhammadu Buhari’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan presented in March, it seeks to boost agriculture and manufacturing by developing the country’s transport network and power infrastructure.

Rail expansion

Government has also expressed plans to construct a coastal railway that connects Lagos to the eastern city of Calabar, and build a second railway line that will connect, Lagos, and Kano. The projected 1100km line will carry freight and passengers.

The two new railways are expected to cost R262.8 billion, of which most of the funding will be sourced from the Export-Import Bank of China, which has so far released R77.5 billion.

China’s Civil Engineering and Construction is expected to build the project.

Mininster Amaechi said that both railways should be ready by the end of 2019.


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