Nigeria signs $3.2 billion deal with Chinese firm

Nigerian state government signs $3.2 billion light rail project with Chinese firm

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Nigeria’s Olgun state government signed a $3.2 billion light rail project with the China Civil Engineering Construction Company on Monday.

Governor Ibikunle Amosun stressed the importance of infrastructure and explained how important it is for the development of the nation.

“Like I always emphasise, without functioning and proper infrastructure, we cannot develop. This step we are taking today will help in technology transfer and bring [a] positive impact on the lives of our people,” said Amosun.

“If you go to China today, the only reason why they are now rated one of the economic powers of the world is because ‎they have infrastructure in place, without infrastructure nothing can happen.”

“If you go to Dubai today, you will see infrastructure there; go to Europe, in France, everywhere, infrastructure must be there. Without infrastructure, there cannot be any development,” he said.

Nigeria is under constant criticism for lacking modern rail lines, as most of its tracks and coaches date from colonial times.

The project, worth billions of dollars, will have two phases and is designed to reduce the pressure on roads in the state. It will also enhance the country’s infrastructural development, said the governor.

The light rail will cover both inter-city and intra-city routes. Once it begins operating, it will carry passengers and goods across major cities such as Abeokuta, Ijebu Ode, Sagamu, Agbara and Idiroko among others.

The contract was signed at the governor's office on Monday and is expected to be completed in three years.