Nigeria’s N10.5tn railway projects dominated by Chinese company – Fitch

A recent report by Fitch Solutions on Nigeria’s railway system, says that a Chinese company, Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), has handled the majority of railway projects in Nigeria worth over $25.51bn (N10.5tn).

The report, titled ‘Nigeria Rail: Near-Term Focus On Northern Region With Long-Term Upside For Southern Projects’, also listed other companies that are major players in the Nigerian railway sector.

According to the report, Chinese financing had supported CCECC to handle most rail projects in the country.

“China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation has dominated the railway construction sector in Nigeria, supported by Chinese financing.”

List of top rail projects awarded to CCECC

  • The approved Lagos-Calabar coastal railway project covering 1402km, awarded at the cost of $11.10bn.
  • The Abuja-Itakpe-Warri rail line project with a contract value of $3.90bn is at the planning stage. Sponsored by China Railway Construction Corporation and EXIM Bank of China, was awarded to CCECC, Julius Berger, and Sinohydro Corporation, another Chinese company, alongside General Electric.
  • A 334km Ogun intercity railway line at the planning stage with a contract value estimated at $3.51bn.
  • The Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line rehabilitation project covering 1443km which is under construction at a contract value of $3.2bn.
  • Lagos-Ibadan 156km rail project was completed in 2021 by CCECC at a contract sum of $1.7bn.
  • The 187km Abuja – Kaduna line, which was completed in 2016 after five years at a cost of $876m.
  • The 204km Kaduna – Kano project which was awarded for $1.2bn.
  • Other projects include the Ibadan–Ilorin with a length of 200km; Ilorin – Minna, with a length of 270km; and Minna – Abuja with a length of 300km.

Most construction work for the railway sector in Nigeria is managed by the CCECC which has been supported by Chinese financing.

The Debt Management Office (DMO) in a document titled, ‘Status of Chinese loans as of September 30, 2021’, disclosed that Chinese loans were used to fund 15 projects. Four of the 15 projects are rail-related.

China’s loan agreement with Nigeria on rail-related projects is put at about $2.47bn.