Nigeria breaks through trade bottlenecks with BRI

By WANG XIAODONG in Lagos, Nigeria | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-10-16 09:38
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The Lagos Rail Mass Transit Blue Line is bringing real benefits to Nigerians. SUNDAY ALAMBA/AP

First electrified railroad

In January, the first electrified railroad and cross-sea light rail in West Africa started to operate in Lagos. The project, built by China Civil Engineering Construction Co, was described by Nigeria's former president Muhammadu Buhari as "historic", as it will ease traffic congestion, and improve lives.

Another landmark railway project in Nigeria, the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Railway, which links Lagos to Ibadan, a major industrial city in Southwest Nigeria, was put into operation in June 2021. The railway, also built by China Civil Engineering Construction, is the first modern double-line SGR in West Africa, and a part of the 1,343-km-long Lagos-Kano SGR, which is under construction. Once complete, the railway will become a major artery in Nigeria, replacing an old railway line built by British colonists a century ago.

In the northern city of Kano, another railway line linking neighboring Niger is also under construction. The 387-km Kano-Maradi railway, with China Communications Construction Company as one of the contractors, will facilitate economic and trade links between the two countries.

In Lekki Port, the number of containers being handled at the port has been steadily increasing over the past few months, although it may take years for the port to reach its full capacity. Adesuwa Ladoja, executive director of Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise, said the development of the port has gained continuous support from successive governments, because it has significant economic meaning for Lagos.

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