ABUJA, Nigeria – Nigeria has intensified its efforts to drive the country’s socio-economic transformation via the revitalization of the nation’s railway system.
The Nigerian Government recently approved a N1.1billion contract to develop two electric diesel engines. The 10-month commissioned project—awarded to Nigeria’s Messrs CNR Darling Locomotives, Rolling Stock Limited and CCECC Nigeria Limited—comes on the heels of the country’s 25-year plan to modernize the Nigerian railway system facilitating the creation of new jobs and implementing routine training for Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) employees.
The N1.1 billion contract will fund locomotives equipped with 2,800 kilowatts for use on standard gauge tracks, a modern rail type standard in roughly 60 percent of lines around the world. Future projects will work to update Nigeria’s existing—however older narrow gauge lines.
“The survival and indeed the extent of development of any economy depends very significantly on the extent of development and efficiency of its transportation system,” Minister of Transport Sen. Idris Umar said in a statement this summer. “Our intention is to improve on the infrastructure of the NRC to ensure it increases passengers and freight movements.”
Nationwide rail projects, including revamping the Lagos-Jebba line and Lagos-Maiduguri standard gauge, promise to drive drown transport costs and time. An ongoing initiative to connect the capital city of Abuja to Kaduna, the state capital of the northwestern Kaduna State, is slated for completion by early 2015. In July 2014, the Nigerian Government additionally attained 25 General Electric engines and refurbished 366 coaches and wagons.
The federal government’s 25-year plan targets the country’s economic revival—both in-country and across borders. As Vice President Namadi Sambo said at a press conference, “The execution requires resources… The federal government has articulated a broad platform to facilitate beneficial private sector participation… which will in turn boost foreign investment.”
Through joined private and federal support, the Nigerian Government remains positioned to modernize Nigeria’s rail transport, drive economic development, fuel job creation and speed up the transport of the country’s goods and the nation’s people.