The Nigerian government has announced that it is ready to embark on the Ibadan-Kaduna rail project. The Ibadan-Kaduna rail project that would see the laying of rail from Ibadan, a mega city in western Nigeria to the Northern city of Kaduna would cost $6.7 billion. The project was awarded for approval in 2006 but has been approved after 12 years and several modifications to the original plan.
This new plan would see the construction of rail lines linking oshogbi to Ado-Ekiti within the same stretch of land; it is this addition that brings the total cost of executing the contract to $6.7 billion. All these details and the approval of the Ibadan-Kaduna rail project was confirmed by the minister of transportation in Nigeria, Rotimi Amaechi after he presented the project memo to the federal executive council.
“The Council approved the award of a new contract from Ibadan to Kaduna. Earlier, the council had awarded from Kaduna to Kano; now the entire Ibadan to Kano as a stretch has been awarded. What was awarded today was Ibadan to Kaduna at the cost of US $6.7bn. This is an old contract that was awarded in 2006,” the Minister said.
This approval of the Ibadan-Kaduna rail project is coming after the Abuja-Kaduna rail project was completed and has been functioning efficiently. That rail project cost $874 million although China’s EXIM bank provided $500m as a concessionary loan for the project with the Nigerian government coughing up the remainder.
In the same vein, China’s EXIM bank is expected to provide part of the funding required to execute the contract. Minister Rotimi Amaechi explained that the newly improved plan would take at least three years before it is completed.
“The only difference now is that we had to award the spur that is going to Ado-Ekiti. There is a new contract from Oshogbo to Ado-Ekiti that has brought the entire contract to US $6.7bn from Ibadan to Kaduna and it was awarded to a Chinese company,’’ he added. “We still believe we can complete this project before the end of 2018. We have problems in Lagos metropolis and with the relocation of a military barracks but we are working on these challenges.”
Rotimi Amaechi explained that the federal government of Nigeria needed a total of $46 billion to complete all the rail projects in Nigeria. He disclosed that President Buhari will soon award the Port Harcourt to Maiduguri rail line. This is in order to fulfil the campaign promises of the present administration to link all state capitals by rail.
The minister said, “The Federal Government is looking at between $40 to $46 billion dollars to complete all rail projects that would connect major state capitals across the country. Could you imagine the benefits of moving massive goods from Port Harcourt to Jos or moving a cargo from Lagos to Kano? Now, you cannot quantify the benefits at all.”