China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation and Federal Ministry of Transportation on behalf of Federal Government of Nigeria have recently signed a contract in a sum of US$3.02 billion for the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Nigerian Eastern Railway from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri. The above-mentioned railway is a vital component of the Nigerian backbone railway network.
The existing eastern railway connects the country’s second largest port, Port Harcourt and the northern city of Maiduguri, passing through 12 states and linking numbers of important cities in the east. The project consists of rehabilitation and reconstruction of the existing eastern railway and construction of new branch lines. After completion, the railway will not only connects to ports and important cities, but also be interconnected with standard gauge railways.
Along the proposed Nigerian backbone railway network with three vertical and five horizontal railways, there are cities and towns with great potential for industrial development, active commercial activities and abundant tourism resources, therefore having strong demands for passenger and freight transport. Once the proposed network is completed, it will promote the development and utilization of resources along the route, accelerate the country's industrialization and urbanization process, and stimulate the increase of jobs in cities and towns, promoting the economic and social development of Nigeria.
The Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has pointed out that railways have played an critical role in Nigeria’s development. The Federal Ministry of Transportation will follow President Buhari’s directives to build a strong and sustainable railway transportation system to drive the country’s economic transformation and development.