Nigeria and China have concluded a contract agreement worth US$11.117bn for the construction of the Lagos-Calabar coastal railway line in Nigeria. Transport Minister Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi signed the agreement on behalf of the Federal Government.
China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) has been awarded the Lagos-Calabar coastal railway line construction contract. Amaechi revealed that first segment of the rail line will comprise Port-Harcourt, Calabar, uyo and Aba. However, the first segment of the rail project is expected to be ready within 2 years.
Additionally, when completed, the proposed coastal railway line in Nigeria will link all sea ports. The project is also expected to create business hubs meant for commercial activities.
According to Amaechi the project contract was to be initially awarded at a cost of US$11.917bn after an acceptable negotiation of cost reduction due to some of the commodities price fall in the world market, the same project will be delivered at a cost of US$11.117bn.
The Ministry of Transport’s capital budget for 2017 is $800m. The amount is projected to cater for rail, water and road transport. Consequently, borrowing is seemingly the only means of financing large scale rail projects.
The Minister spoke about plans to complete the rail projects within the next two years. He further added that the work commencement is dependent on the National Assembly’s approval of $6.1bn from the Chinese Exim Bank.
The government is prepared to take on more debt to finance capital spending. This is despite the need to cut costs and minimize on the same owing to the current economic crisis. Abuja’s $6.1Bn from China’s Export-Import (Exim) Bank will cater for the support of various rail projects scheduled for completion by late 2019. This will include Phase 1 of the Lagos-Calabar railway, plus work on the Kano-Kaduna and Lagos-Ibadan lines.
CCECC was established in 1979 under the endorsement of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. It is one of the pioneers performing international contracting and economic cooperation.
The Corporation has progressed from the China Ministry of Railways, Foreign Aid Department into a large-scale state-owned enterprise. It has earned Chinese national Super Grade qualification for project contracting. It is listed among the world’s top 100 international contractors by the Engineering News Record “ENR”.
It expanded from international railway contracting construction contracts to labor services cooperation, civil engineering design & consultancy, real estate development and project contracting. The corporation also trade into the import & export as well.