In previous blog, the bad state of the Nigerian railway sector was discussed. However, it is important to note that the government is making serious effort to uplift the sector. To this effect, the China Civil Engineering group co., Ltd, a subsidiary China Railway Construction Corporation Limited recently signed a contract for a $13.1billion railway project with the Nigerian Ministry of Transportation for the development of a coastal railway line that will transverse ten states of Nigeria.
The railway line will be 1,385 km long in one-way mileage, and a design speed of 120 km/h, and twenty-two railway stations is also expected to be built along the line.
In the ongoing World Economic Forum, the Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng stated that China encourages more Chinese enterprises to expand investment in Nigeria’s manufacturing sector, transfer technologies and train personnel to increase local job opportunities.
He also confirmed that in recent years, investment from China’s private enterprises in Nigeria has increasingly been active as over 40 Chinese private firms have entered Nigeria with a total investment of $800 million in the fields of agriculture, textile industry, construction materials, mining and other sectors.
Furthermore, within the framework of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum, the Nigerian government and Chinese enterprises have worked together to build two economic and trade cooperation zones in Nigeria, and opened chinaware, furniture and household appliance manufacturing factories, which have created more than 4,000 jobs in the country.
In deed, China and Nigeria have enjoyed good business relationship over the years. This major development in constructing railway lines, will bring a big boost to the transport industry. Consequently, this will result in a more efficient distribution of goods across the country, and reduction in transport cost which will greatly reduce the cost of transporting goods to market.
In line with this, other investors can either key in to investment in the transport sector, or start making plans to set up their production facility in Nigeria to be able to meet up with the trend. Today, Nigeria is an import dependent country, however, with recent emphasis by government on LDI and FDI, this is about to change. Companies that currently export to Nigeria will loose a lot of revenue due to availability of their products by competitors who have decided to set up production facilities locally.