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FG To Kickoff Construction Of $1.5 Billion Lagos-Ibadan Railway Line In February 

The Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mr. Fidet Okheria, has said that the Government has concluded plans to commence the construction of a standard gauge rail line from Lagos to Ibadan, next month.

The Punch newspaper reports that the project, which has been awarded to the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, will be jointly funded by the Nigerian and Chinese governments, and will cost about $1.5bn.

According to the report, the Nigerian Government has already made its counterpart funds available, while China promises to release its own by the end of this month.

The kick-off of the rail line construction comes six months after the Nigerian government and the CCECC signed an agreement for the project.

“The Chinese government promises that by the end of the month to release its counterpart funds. And the project should, therefore, start in the next one month.” Oheria is quoted as saying

The new Lagos-Ibadan rail is a double line, and will span 156.65 kilometres. It is the  first phase of a new Lagos-Kano standard gauge line.

The new line, when completed in 18 months, would coexist with the old narrow gauge rail line.

The contract for the 2,733km new Lagos-Kano rail was first awarded by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2006 at a cost of $8.3bn to the Chinese company (CCECC) but could not be executed due to paucity of funds.

Okheria also said arrangements were being finalised to start the construction of the Lagos-Calabar and Kaduna-Kano rail lines.

The Federal Government and the CCECC last year signed the contract for the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan and Calabar-Port Harcourt rail lines after the two parties agreed to cut down the total cost for the projects from $11.917bn to $11.117bn.

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who signed on behalf of the Federal Government, had said the cost reduction for the projects was achieved after the contract was renegotiated by both parties.

“The contract was awarded by the regime of former President Goodluck Jonathan for $11.917bn. When we took over at the ministry, we renegotiated with the CCECC and we succeeded in reducing the contract sum from $11.917bn to $11.117bn and we are able to save $800m after the renegotiation,” he explained.

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