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$1.3bn to sort Kano-Maradi railway project

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By Mercy Kelani

FG in partnership with AfDB will cover the remaining 15 percent of the costs.

On March 13, 2024, the Transport Ministry announced that Nigeria has received $1.3 billion in funding to finalize a railway project that will link Kano, the biggest city in the northern region, to Maradi in the neighbouring country of Niger. The new railway project aims to strengthen the economic and social connections that already exist, in order to increase trade and promote cultural collaboration between the two nations. The Transport Ministry announced that a majority of the funding for the project will be provided by a consortium.

This consortium is headed by the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), with a contribution of 85 percent towards the total cost. The Nigerian government, in partnership with organizations such as the Africa Export-Import Bank and African Development Bank, will cover the remaining 15 percent of the costs. The approval and allocation of $1.3 billion mark a significant advancement in the progress of this crucial infrastructure project, stated Jamilu Ja’afaru, spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation.

Nig. gov’t is working towards revitalizing the underdeveloped north.

During the month of July, Mota-Engil, Portugal’s biggest construction company, finalised a deal worth $919 million to provide and fund railway rolling stock for the project. The Nigerian government is working towards revitalizing the underdeveloped north of the nation, where areas have faced destruction for the last ten years due to attacks by Islamist militants. The implementation of this initiative is a crucial component of the government’s strategy to construct railway systems throughout Nigeria in order to tackle the inadequate transportation infrastructure that has hindered the country’s economic development for many years.

Great Britain constructed the majority of Nigeria’s railway systems, accounting for 80% of its railways. These railways were designed with the standard gauge of 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in), which was consistent with other British colonies across Africa. There are two main railway lines in the country, both of which operate on the Cape gauge. Stretching across 1,126 kilometres (700 miles), the Western Line links the coastal city of Lagos on the Bight of Benin to Nguru in the northern state of Yobe.

CCECC has evolved from the Foreign Aid Department of the Min. of Railways.

The Eastern Line is a railway connecting the south eastern city of Port Harcourt to Maiduguri in Borno State, which is situated close to the Chad border in the northeast. In June 1979, the State Council of the People’s Republic of China approved the establishment of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Ltd. (CCECC). Over the years, CCECC has evolved from the Foreign Aid Department of the Ministry of Railways, where they gained valuable experience working on large projects like TAZARA.

Through the evolution it has become a major state-owned enterprise specializing in international contracting and economic cooperation. The company’s range of services has grown from global railway construction contracts to the planning and development of civil engineering projects. In addition to real estate development, the company is also involved in trading, industrial investment, and managing hotels. CCECC’s presence has grown significantly, with operations now spanning across 40 countries and regions. They have set up over 20 international offices or subsidiaries to support their global business activities.

Related Article: Nigeria Railway Network Remains Inactive

For numerous years, the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) has consistently been recognized as one of the top 255 global contractors and has maintained its position within the top 70 in recent years by the renowned publication ENR. Their exceptional performance and superior services have solidified their reputation as a leading international contractor in the industry. CCECC commenced construction of a dual-track standard gauge railway connecting Lagos to Kano in Nigeria in the year 2014.

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