The government of Nigeria and China Railway Construction Corp International (CRCCI) have signed a US $3.9bn contract for the completion of the Abuja-Warri railway corridor.
Partnership of the project
The project will be a public-private partnership, with Nigeria providing an equity stake of 15%, CRCCI an equity stake of 10%, and the remaining 75% borrowed from China’s Export-Import (Exim) Bank. CRCCI will also recover its investment by managing the railway and port for 30 years. During the project, the railway heading south from Abuja will pass through the city of Baro where a branch line will be built to Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.
According to The Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, outstanding funds arising from the rail contract will be borrowed with the Federal Government’s guarantee, which will also be backstopped by performance bond from the company. “There is a concession agreement that requires CRCCI to manage both the railway and the seaport and recover the 75% and pay the money. The Chinese company is also expected to operate with the aim of meeting the repayment term of borrowing within a construction period of thirty years,” he added.
The project will create jobs opportunities for Nigerians as well as catalyse economic activities by encouraging easier and more efficient transportation across the country. A more crucial problem the railway projects have helped solve is the insecurity along interstate roads in the country.
As seen in developed economies, adequate transport infrastructure is a catalyst for economic growth and development. Thus, the planned railway corridor, along with several other ongoing railway projects, is a major development based on the potential contributions towards achieving economic development in Nigeria.