NIGERIA: Funding to enable the construction of the 650 km east-west coastal railway was approved by a meeting of the Federal Executive Council on August 4, Minister of Information Lai Mohammed has told local media. The FEC also approved plans for lines from Kano to Jibia near the border with Niger and running inland from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri.
The proposed 1 435 mm gauge coastal railway would link Calabar in the east with Aba, Port Harcourt, Warri, Benin City and Lagos in the west. Details of how the project is to be financed were not specified, although Minister of Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi reported in July that loans were being negotiated with Chinese and European lenders.
China Civil Engineering Construction Corp began developing plans for the coastal railway in 2010, and its China Railway Construction Corp subsidiary signed a US$11·97bn construction contract with the Nigerian government in November 2014. However, work has not yet begun pending approval of the funding package.