Chinese firm, Nigeria sign bln rail project agreement

Updated 2018-05-16 09:47:03 Xinhua

Nigeria on Tuesday signed an agreement of 6.68 billion U.S. dollars with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) for a major segment of rail line linking the economic capital Lagos with Kano, northern Nigeria's commercial hub.

"The signing of the Ibadan-Kaduna segment contract agreement today (Tuesday) concludes all outstanding segments of the Lagos-Kano rail line," said a statement by Nigeria's transport ministry.

CCECC confirmed to Xinhua the signing of the agreement Tuesday.

The Lagos-Kano rail modernization project started in 2006 and was broken into segments for implementation.

The segmentation phase commenced from Abuja-Kaduna rail line in 2011, which was completed and commissioned into commercial operation by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016.

In March 2017, the second leg of the rail project, which is currently ongoing, commenced.

Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi, while signing the contract agreement with CCECC, said the completion time of the contract should be between two to three years, "depending on availability of funds."

Amaechi promised that the government would be able to provide its counterpart funding between 2018 and 2019 budget provision.

The Ibadan-Kaduna standard gauge line is designed to pass through the southwest region to the north, linking Osogbo-Ilorin-Minna to Kaduna, with a single track branch line from Osogbo to Ado-Ekiti, another southwestern city.

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