- In 2006, President Olusegun Obasanjo conceived a modern railway project for Nigeria. According to him, “no nation has achieved holistic development without a coherent, integrated, efficient and reliable transportation system”.
- On October, 2006, Obasanjo inaugurated the project to revitalize Nigeria’s 3500km railway network. This railway project was dubbed the Lagos-Kano standard gauge modernization project.
- The contract for the railway project was awarded to China Civil Engineering and Construction Co (CCECC), for $8.3bn. It was to be funded with a soft loan from China.
- The construction of the Lagos-Kano standard gauge modernization is projected to last for 25 years.
- Due to funding problems, the project was later redesigned to be executed in standalone segments.
- The Abuja-Kaduna segment was designed to be the first segment of the 1,124km Lagos-Kano line. It was to be implemented as part of the standard gauge project.
- Obasanjo added a new 100km line which would be built from Minna to Abuja, continuing for 205km beyond the capital to Kaduna. He also said phase II would see the reconstruction of the Port Harcourt-Jos route.
8. In November 2007, the Yar’Adua administration stopped the railway project due to “paucity of fund”. According to the minister of transportation, Diezani Alison-Madueke, the project was “posing challenges to the current administration”. The intention to source funding from the country’s excess crude account had “constitutional limitations”, she said, and an anticipated $1.28bn loan from China “crashed for a number of reasons”.
9. To ensure that things are properly done, Yar’Adua invited the respected geographer and urban planning expert, Professor Akin Mabogunje, to a meeting to discuss how the entire rail system could be modernized.
10. In October 2009, The Yar’adua government signed the $875m Abuja-Kaduna rail construction contract. The project was designated as the Phase 1 (Segment 1) of the re-scoped railway modernization project. The railway line would cover the Abuja (Idu)-Kaduna axis in the new agreement with the Chinese company. The project was reviewed downward from the initial $8.3 billion signed by the President Olusegun Obasanjo administration.
11. In 2009, the abandoned 276 kilometers long Warri-Ajaokuta rail line project was resuscitated. The project was originally conceived in 1987 to carry steel products and raw materials from Delta Steel Company, Aladja, Warri but was later abandoned after about 254 kilometers had been done due to funding constraints.
Jonathan (May 2010 – May 2014)
12. Shortly after winning the 2011 presidential election, President Goodluck Jonathan initiated the high-speed Lagos-Kano rail project.
13. The Lagos-Kano rail project is the first phase of the Lagos-Kano rail line which will connect Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Warri, Bauchi, Abuja, and Port Harcourt. The project – which was designed to be executed in 6 phases – was projected to cost the country $13 billion, much of which will be financed with a loan from the Export Import Bank of China. The entire project was expected to last for about 25 years.
14. Between February and October 2010, a total of 25 new locomotives were purchased by the Federal Government from the General Electric Transportation South America and deployed to boost train services across the country’s railway routes.
15. The Abuja-Kaduna segment is the first segment to be implemented as part of the Lagos-Kano standard gauge project under the first standard gauge railway modernisation projects (SGRMP) in Nigeria.
16. August 28, 2012, the Jonathan-led government signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of the of $ 1.5billion Lagos – Ibadan rail project with CCECC Nigeria Limited. The Lagos-Ibadan line project is a double track railway line modernisation project. The standard gauge line is to run between Lagos, Ibadan, Ilorin, Minna, Kano and also there would be a phase that will take off from Minna to Abuja.
17. The Lagos-Ibadan Line is the Segment Two of the standard-gauge line that will connect Lagos and Kano.
18. In 2012, work on the Warri-Itakpe-Ajaokuta rail line commenced. When completed, it would enable train move from Warri through Itakpe, Ajaokuta, Agbor, Warri and Ore with six stations in between.
19. June 2014, President Goodluck Jonathan, commissioned two sets of Diesel Multiple Units, DMUs, and 68-seater air-conditioned passenger coaches acquired by the Nigeria Railway Corporation to boost its passenger traffic.
20. According to Railway Technology, the construction of the Abuja-Kaduna rail line which started in February 2011 was completed in December 2014.
21. In 2014, the Abuja-Kaduna rail line project was rated by KPMG, one of the leading consulting firms in the world, to be among the global top 100 world-class infrastructure projects.
22. In October 2014, the federal executive council (FEC) approved $6.6 million for the procurement of two locomotives for the Abuja- Kaduna rail.
Mohammadu Buhari (2015 -Date)
23. . On July 26, 2016, President Mohammadu Buhari commissioned the 187 km standard gauge line between Kaduna and Abuja . The Kaduna-Abuja standard gauge railway tracks runs from Idu, near Abuja, to Kaduna in the north-western region of Nigeria.
24. The Abuja-Kaduna standard guage line has 10 stations and features both passenger and cargo trains.
25. The trains run at a maximum speed of 100 km/h. At its southern end, the line terminates at Idu, about 20km from central Abuja, where there will be an interchange with the Abuja light rail ( a 78km intra-city rail line).
26. The Abuja light rail is a different project from the Abuja-Kaduna rail line, but still part of the grand plan birthed by the Obasanjo-led administration
27. In April 2017, the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) announced it had begun the construction of the 36-kilometer Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway line..
28. The project which was earlier contracted for nearly $1.5 billion, was rewritten and renegotiated by the Buhari-led government and the Chinese construction firm handling the project, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).
29.The project is jointly funded by the Nigerian and Chinese governments will gulp about $1.5bn (N458bn).
30. The 160km Lagos-Ibadan Line will run from Iddo in Lagos to Ibadan in Oyo State, passing through Abeokuta in Ogun State. It will also have an extension to the Apapa Ports Complex.
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