Just over four years after work began, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari last week flagged off the new, Chinese-built Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Railway, a 157km line intended to speed the flow of goods and people to and from Africa’s largest city and Nigeria’s inland territories.
It was built by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), which hailed the $1.5bn scheme as "the first modern double track standard gauge railway in West Africa".Â
Inaugurating the railway on 10 June, Buhari described it as: "Another milestone in the drive of our Administration to revitalize the railway system and establish it as a choice mode of transportation for both passengers and freight."Â
Containers will now be able to travel straight from Lagos’ massive port complex to an inland depot in Ibadan, from where goods can be distributed to other parts of the country.
According to local media, the Nigerian Railway Corporation said trains would start running this week from tomorrow.Â
The section to Ibadan is part of a longer line between Lagos and Kaduna in north-central Nigeria. This $6.7bn project, which is also being built by CCECC, was approved in 2018. It will intersect with CCECC’s first rail scheme in the country, a north-south link between Kaduna and the capital Abuja that was completed in 2016.
Image:Â Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari flagging off the new, Chinese-built Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Railway on 10 June (From the Facebook page of President Muhammadu Buhari)