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FG silent on sources of funding for 10 new rail lines

Even as the National Assembly is yet to grant official approval to the federal government’s request to borrow about $5.8bn from Chinese EXIMBank to fund Lagos to Kano standard gauge rail line, government has given fresh indication to embark on another set of 10 new rail schemes.

Already, feasibility studies on the construction of the 10 new standard gauge rail lines will cover a travelling distance of over 3,421 kilometres when completed across the country have started.

Details garnered from the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) showed that the Rail Development Plan report prepared by the Ministry of Transportation in Abuja, listed the 10 new standard gauge rail routes where feasibility studies were being carried out as the 300km Lagos-Sagamu-Ijebu Ode-Ore-Benin City East-West rail line; Lagos-Ibadan-Osogbo-Baro-Abuja high speed 615km line; Ajaokuta (Eganyin)-Obajana-Jakura-Baro-Siraj-Abuja rail, with additional line from Ajaokuta to Otukpo (533km); and the 520km Zaria-Kaura Namoda-Sokoto-Ileila-Birnin Koni in Niger Republic.

Others are the Benin-Agbor-Onitsha-Nnewi-Owerri-Aba rail, with additional line from Onitsha-Enugu-Abakaliki, 500km; Eganyin (near Ajaokuta)-Lokoja-Abaji-Abuja, 280km; Benin-Sapele-Warri-Yenagoa-Port Harcourt-Aba-Uyo-Calabar-Akampa-Ikom-Obudu Cattle Ranch coastal rail line, 673km; Port Harcourt-Aba-Umuahia-Enugu-Makurdi-Lafia-Kuru-Bauchi-Gombe-Biu-Maiduguri line; Ikom-Obudu-Ogoja-Katsina Ala-Wukari-Jalingo-Yola-Maiduguri line; and the Kano-Nguru-Gusau-Damaturu-Maiduguri-Gamborugala rail line.

Additional details from the report revealed that the construction and rehabilitation of the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri standard gauge line project was nearing completion and may be delivered before the end of the year.