March 13, 2014

Nigeria funds Abuja commuter rail project

Written by  Shem Oirere
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THE Nigerian government has allocated $US 60m to the $US 823m project currently underway to build the first phase of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit Project, a 45km standard-gauge commuter rail line being built by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).

Federal Capital Territory minister Mr Bala Mohammed says the funds will come from this year's fuel subsidy savings kitty known as the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (Sure-P). Nigeria is providing $US 323m counterpart funding for phase one, after China's Exim Bank advanced a $US 500m loan.

CCECC was initially scheduled to complete phase one in 36 months and have it commissioned by 2015, but the project is estimated to be only 25% complete because of funding delays and the deadline is likely to be missed.

Further phases are planned to extend the commuter rail network and when fully complete the Abuja Rail Mass Transit system is expected to carry around 2 million commuters per day.

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