Another light rail project is in the offing as a Chinese firm has received the approval to construct the line in Kano at a sum of $1.85bn (N589.8bn).
This is coming less than a year to the completion of the first light rail project being constructed in Lagos by the state government. Another Chinese firm, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation is handling the project.
The rail, with a total length of 74.3 kilometres, is expected to travel at a speed of 100 kilometres per hour.
In context, 100 kilometres per hour is as fast as moving from Lagos to Ibadan in 72 minutes.
The first phase of the project construction is billed to take two years, while the second phase of the four-line rail is expected to take another two years.
“The project contract amount is approximately $ 1.851bn, accounting for two per cent of the company’s 2015 revenue, under the China Accounting Standards,” the firm said.
The receipt of the contract is valid for three weeks from the day of award, after which “uncertainties” will prevail.
Nigeria is investing heavily in capital projects, building infrastructure, and replacing half-a-century old rail lines in the country.
With over N1tn budgeted for capital expenditure in the 2016 Appropriation Act, Nigeria is expected to invest the highest amount in capex in its 56-year history.
Rail transportation received a boost in Nigeria on July 26 this year when President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the Abuja-Kaduna commercial train operation after series of postponements.
The modernisation phase of the project had commenced with the signing of the contract for the construction of Abuja (Idu) to Kaduna (Rigasa) rail line in 2009.
Buhari had said the rail line would significantly enhance and provide affordable and safe movement of passengers and freight between the Federal Capital Territory and Kaduna State.
He said that the train operation would also serve as a major catalyst for industrialisation and generation of employment.