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Ghana Akufo-Addo

As Ghana’s $1bn rail renewal loan has national spread, Nigeria faces West-North axis

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More Nigerians have continued to query why all ongoing railway renewal efforts by the Federal Government since 2015 have continued to face West-North axis, leaving the entire South-North rail line without any form of renewal or expansion.
For example, Lagos to Abeokuta to Ibadan is being supervised by the Minister of Transportation two times every month. Also, Abuja to Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and even extending to Niger Republic have seen serious reconstruction and even loan deals while nothing has happened to the pre-colonial Port Harcourt to Aba up to Maiduguri rail line in the last four year.
Contrary to the apparently regional selective approach in Nigeria, recently, the Ghana government signed two separate contract agreements with the Chinese government to secure a $1 billion facility to revamp the country’s railways sector.
According to the Minister of Railways, Mr Joe Ghartey, the said two deals, of $500 million each, were signed last week in China each for the Western and Eastern rail lines, totaling 930 km, and new lines from Tema to Akosombo, among others.
The minister said the dual deal was to maintain equity in infrastructural delivery amongst Ghana regions in line with the government’s plans to restore and improve rail transportation.
Ghartey recalled that under President Akufo-Addo, 30 new trains have been procured, with the speed of 160 km per hour, compared to the previous 120 km per hour, and would soon arrive in the country.
He said the procurement of the modern trains with automated signals would cost the Government several millions of dollars to replace the outmoded ones.
The Minister further revealed that the 947 km railway lines built during Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s administration had reduced to 100 km and that with the effective strategic plans put in place by the President Akufo-Addo’s Government, more than 2,000 km lines would be built within eight years.

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