Railway Transport To Get 16 Locomotives And 40 Coaches

By Ikenga Chronicles August 6, 2018

Railway Transport To Get 16 Locomotives And 40 Coaches

Rail transportation in Nigeria is set for a major boost as the Federal Government said about 16 locomotives, 40 coaches and 120 wagons would be procured for the standard gauge Lagos-Ibadan rail line that is currently under construction.

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who disclosed this, said the FG is optimistic about meeting the December 2018 or January 2019 completion deadline for the project, whose ground-breaking was performed last year by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who was then the Acting President.

“We’ve placed orders and they are fabricating them , and we hope they will arrive soon.” Amaechi said

On the number of locos and coaches being expected, Amaechi re-directed the enquiry to the Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation(NRC), Fidet Okhiria, who stated that “we are expecting about 16 locomotives. For coaches, it is about 40 in number, and about 120 wagons.”

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The minister further hinted that the government was planning to link Ibadan and Kaduna by rail once the ongoing work on the Lagos-Ibadan railway project was completed.

Recall that Nigeria had signed a contract with the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation(CCECC) for the construction of the Ibadan to Kaduna rail project, and the minister stated that the government was pushing hard to secure about $6.7 bn loan for the project.

The Minister said, “We’ve signed the contract but we’ve not got the loan. What is key is the loan, which is a bit difficult but we are pushing hard. If we get the loan, then they (CCECC) will start this year, because we are pushing hard. Honestly, it is one of the items I’m putting before the President for consideration.”

Meanwhile, the former Rivers Governor stated that the Federal Government had the intention of unbundling the NRC into about three companies.

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Amaechi said, “We intend to break the NRC into three other companies and we are working on that. One of the companies will manage the tracks, another will operate, and then the third one will be saddled with the task of marketing.

“So, with this, you won’t have one company that is doing everything and is not able to operate. That is what is obtainable in many countries; it is so in South Africa; it is so in other areas and in Britain.”