China is expected to inject a sum of US$ 5.3bn by October this year, for the commencement of the construction of the Ibadan-Kano rail line, which is a part of the 2,700-km Lagos–Kano standard gauge railway line project in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Minister for Transportation, Hon Rotimi Amaechi revealed this during a special broadcast program on Channels Television to mark the country’s Democracy Day. Amaechi commended on the support that the government and the people of China continue to give Nigeria especially in matters of infrastructure. The Chinese government has previously released US$ 1.6bn for the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway (SGR) project.
According to the Minister, President Buhari had directed the release of US$ 318M as part of the 15% counterpart funding for the construction of Ibadan-Kano railway and that more funds would be released this coming year. Government had been able to pay compensation at commercial rates and not government rates to people and organizations that were affected by the Lagos-Ibadan railway project.
The construction of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line segment was projected to end in May this year to allow the Ibadan to Kano section to begin by June or July but the plan was disrupted by the rise of the COVID-19 virus early this year.
On the other hand, the minister also talked about plans for the Bonny-Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line saying that they intend to seek approval from the cabinet before the end of next month for the implementation of the Bonny-Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line together with the Bonny deep seaport and the industrial park at Port Harcourt.