Nigeria approves $6.7bn rail link to northern city of Kaduna

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) of Nigeria has approved a proposal to build a standard-gauge railway between Ibadan and Kaduna.

The lines in red show the narrow "Cape Gauge" railways built by the British

The plan was put forward on Wednesday (21 February) by transport minister Rotimi Amaechi, who estimated that the line would cost $6.7bn and take three years to complete.

The scheme would be an extension of the $1.5bn Lagos-to-Ibadan line, which the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation began building in 2017.

It would join another north-south link, between Kaduna and the capital Abuja, which was completed in 2016.

The FEC is made up of presidential appointees and forms the executive body of the Nigerian governments. The Wednesday meeting was chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State, has a population of about 3 million and is located about 40km northeast of Lagos. Kaduna, one of the main commercial hubs of northern Nigeria, is 520km northeast of Ibadan. A journey by car between the two takes about 11 hours.  

Top image: Nigeria’s railways are undergoing their first expansion since independence in 1957 (Nigerian Railway Corporation)

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