China To Upgrade $1.68bn Kano-Kaduna Rail Line Before 2019

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China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) has said it has won a $1.68 billion contract to upgrade and modernise the Kano-Kaduna segment of the Lagos-Kano rail line.

According to a statement signed by Yi Er San Ri and Liunian Jiuyue, on behalf of CCECC, the two-lane standard gauge design will travel at a maximum driving speed 150km/h.

In context, the rail line would move as fast as travelling from Lagos to Ibadan in 48 minutes. This is expected to be faster than the Kaduna-Abuja rail line.

CCECC also signed a contract worth $3.4 billion for the construction of the Calabar-Port Harcourt Segment 1, which aims to extend the rail line between Calabar and Port Harcourt to Onne Deep Seaport.

In 2006, the company signed the Nigerian Railway Modernization Project, to upgrade and modernise transportation between Lagos-Ibadan, Ibadan-Ilorin, Ilorin-Minna, Minna-Abuja, Abuja-Kaduna, and Kaduna to Kano.

The contract was signed at $8.3 billion at the time, only for the Nigerian government to ask for the suspension of the project in 2008.

According to CCECC, the government later negotiated for the implementation of the Lagos-Ibadan, and Abuja-Kaduna segments of the project. The Abuja-Kaduna rail line was delivered on July 13, 2016, while the Lagos-Ibadan segment remains uncompleted.

In a statement on Thursday, Rotimi Amaechi, minister for transportation, said the newly signed projects would be concluded in two years.

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