FG to commence N458bn Lagos-Ibadan rail project in February

The Federal Government has said it would commence the construction of a standard gauge rail line from Lagos to Ibadan next month.

This was disclosed by the Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mr. Fidet Okheria.

Okheria revealed that the project has been awarded to the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation and jointly funded by the Nigerian and Chinese governments.

The project will cost about $1.5bn (N458bn).

Okheria told Punch that “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.”

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 contract for the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan and Calabar-Port Harcourt rail lines was signed last year for $11.117bn.

Minister of Transportation, Mr. 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 had explained.

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