The plans for the modernisation of old railway lines seem to suggest that it'll take place primarily in the SW and the the North. I see no mention of any South Eastern or South Southern routes, is there a reason for this? May someone please shed some light on this?
Nigeria, China sign rail modernisation contract
From Nkechi Onyedika, Abuja
THE Federal Government has signed a $875 million contract with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) for modernisation of 186 kilometres Phase 1, Segment 1 of rail lines transversing Abuja (Idu) to Kaduna.
The project, which is to be completed within three years, has Messrs TEAM Nig. Ltd. as consultants and would be financed with a $500 million concessionary loan from the Chinese government.
Speaking at the ceremony yesterday in Abuja, the Minister of Transport, Alhaji Isa Bio, stated that due to the total neglect of the rail sector, the services deteriorated abysmally.
He noted that to revamp the sector, the immediate past administration adopted a holistic approach by commissioning a team of reputable international and local consultants to produce a 25-year development plan for the modernisation of the Nigerian Railways.
He stressed that former President Olusegun Obasanjo's administration embarked on the implementation of the plan by awarding a contract for the modernisation of the Nigerian Railways Project, Phase 1: Lagos-Kano to Messrs CCECC at a cost of $8.3 billion.
Bio, however, observed that due to the huge cost of the project and the absence of a funding plan, the present administration decided to review the project while President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee to re-negotiate and re-scope the project.
This, according to him, culminated in the re-scoping of the project into five segments on "Stand-Alone Basis," with its separate project and the segments that include: Lagos - Ibadan; Ibadan - Ilorin; Ilorin - Minna; Abuja - Kaduna (Link Line); and Minna - Kano.
In his remarks, China's Ambassador to Nigeria, Xu Jianguo, described the railway modernisation project as an important vehicle for the actualisation of the Federal Government's Seven Point Agenda.
He assured that the Chinese government would ensure that it was of international standard and delivered on schedule.
Speaking on behalf of CCECC, Zhou Tianxian, said the project was very critical and would bring economic and social benefits to Nigeria.