VENTURES AFRICA – Nigeria’s Transportation Ministry has awarded a $13.1 billion contract to China Railway Construction Corporation Limited to build a coastal railway line in the country, that will extend across 10 of its 36 states.
According to the company, the railway line will be 1,385 km long in one-way mileage. The railway line, which will be designed for a speed of 120 km/h, will also have 22 railway stations which will spread across the 10 states.
China Railway Construction Corporation Limited revealed in a statement that China Civil Engineering Group Co. Ltd., one of its subsidiaries, inked the deal.
However, discussions are still on between the company and the Ministry of Transport based on the framework released.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo had in 2006 signed a contract with the China Civil Engineering Group Co. Ltd. to modernise the Lagos to Kano railway line, but following a dispute in 2008, the project was suspended. Although a supplementary agreement was signed in September 2012, which is expected to restart the project, it is unclear if it has anything to do with the new contract with Transportation Ministry.
The details of the contract was disclosed just as Commerce Minister of China, Gao Hucheng said that his country encourages Chinese enterprises to expand investment in Nigeria.
Gao, who spoke yesterday at the World Economic Forum going on in Abuja, noted that having an economic bilateral relationship will compliment the economic interest of both countries, citing Nigeria’s huge consumer market and China’s robust processing industry.
According to him, Nigeria and China have worked together under the framework of China-Africa Cooperation Forum to open a furniture and household appliance manufacturing factory, creating over 4,000 jobs in the process.