Nigeria seeks $1.8bn from China for coastal railway

To get started on its long-planned coastal railway from Lagos to Calabar, the government of Nigeria will seek loans worth $1.8bn from China.

Transport minister Rotimi Amaechi said on 23 May that the first segment would run from Port Harcourt to Warri, and would cost $2.3bn, with Nigeria contributing $500m, reported newspaper, Punch.

He said: "The government has approved for us to seek a loan of $1.8bn to start work on the coastal rail. The coastal rail is from Lagos to Calabar. So we are taking the segment that starts from Port Harcourt to Warri to join the central line that goes to Abuja."

Nigeria has been in talks with China to build the full 22-stop, 1,400km railway since 2014, with China Railway Construction Corporation,a subsidiary of China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), in the frame since then to build it. At the time it was costed at $12bn. 

Two years later the parties reached another deal that brought the price down to $11bn.

Image: Nigeria’s rail system is in need of renewal (Nigerian Railway Corporation)

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