Train services are to resume on the Lagos-Kano route during the month of April, after floods washed away a section of railway track last year in Akere, north of Lagos in the southern Oyo State.
The repair works include the construction of a new bridge in Akere, the re-enforcement of the old bridge and the provision of additional culverts in the affected area.
A two-year N12.1 billion contract for the rehabilitation of the 640-km rail line between Jebba in western Nigeria and Kano in the north had originally been awarded to Costain West Africa Plc in 2010.
Prior to last year’s flooding, the Lagos-based engineering firm had subcontracted the project to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), after failing to keep to deadlines. The Chinese firm had already been awarded the contract for rehabilitating the 48-km stretch of rail track between Jebba and Lagos.
Meanwhile the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) is considering the purchase of another set of 50 pressurised tanker wagons for hauling petroleum products by rail, in addition to the 20 recently-imported wagons from China which cost N600 million.
The NRC is awaiting budgetary approval before ordering the wagons whose cost is estimated at about N1.5 billion. Major oil producers in Nigeria such as Lagos firm Oando, Italy’s Agip and France’s Total are expected to engage in significant fuel haulage by train.