• Right on track

    Right on track

    In a drive to modernise Nigeria’s railway system, the country is building its first rolling stock assembly plant.

    The facility is being built under a 2018 agreement between the Ministry of Transportation and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), and will be used to assemble locomotives, coaches, wagons and diesel units for domestic and export use, the official international broadcasting station, Voice of Nigeria, reports.

    The first group of wagons assembled at the plant will be used for freight services on the standard gauge Lagos–Ibadan and Abuja–Kaduna routes. Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo adds that while the plant will serve rail operators across the West African sub-region, it will also offer a crucial platform for technicians and artisans to improve their skills ‘for the production and maintenance of rolling stocks’.

    The assembly plant project follows a number of agreements between Nigeria and CCECC. In 2016, the government inked two deals worth US$5 billion with the Chinese company to modernise Nigeria’s railway lines in an effort to increase exports of non-oil products. Last year, the two parties concluded a US$6.7 billion deal to build a rail link from Lagos in the southwest to Kano in the north over the next two to three years.

    12 November 2019
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images