Economy Nigerian state, Chinese firm sign $3.2bn light rail contract

Nigerian state, Chinese firm sign $3.2bn light rail contract

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Ogun state governor Ibikunle Amosun

(AA) – Nigeria’s southwestern Ogun State has signed a $3.2 billion light rail project with a Chinese firm.

“The light rail project is in two phases and will gulp $3.2 billion,” Ogun state governor Ibikunle Amosun said at the signing ceremony in capital city Abeokuta.

“The first will cut across the entire cities in the state, while the other phase will be for the Abeokuta metropolis,” he said.

The rail project is to be completed in three years and is designed to reduce the pressure on roads in the state and enhance its infrastructural development, according to the governor.

Chinese Consul General in Nigeria Kan Liu and CCECC Chairman Cao Baogang attended the ceremony.

The light rail would span both inter-city and intra-city routes, such as major Ogun towns like Abeokuta, Ijebu Ode, Sagamu, Agbara and Idiroko among others.

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

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Baogang, for his part, said the project would hasten development in the state while offering employment opportunities for the youth.

“We congratulate the governor for his vision. This is no doubt a project, which when completed, would transform the state,” he said.

Lagos government has signed similar contract for light rail. It is still being executed.

Nigeria is criticized for lacking modern rail lines as most of its tracks and coaches are colonial heritages.

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