The Federal Government of Nigeria is in talks with Standard Chartered Bank, London to galvanize funding for the construction of the Lagos to Calabar Coastal Rail.
Standard Chattered Bank, London is ready to invest $11bn into the project, Chibuike R. Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, revealed in a recent statement.
According to the Minister, “the proposed rail line, upon completion will, pass through Calabar, Uyo, Aba, Port Harcourt, Yenagoa, Otuoke, Ughelli, Warri, Sapele, Benin, Agbor, Asaba, Onitsha, Ore, Ijebu Ode, Sagamu and Lagos.”
President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and the London-based lender are also discussing financing for the upgrade of a narrow-gauge track in eastern Nigeria and a new standard-gauge line on the coast, Amaechi said during an interview.
This comes after the federal government recently announced contracts conclusion with the Nigerian unit of state-owned China Civil Engineering Construction Corp., CCECC, for both deals.
“We’ve moved away from China in some of our projects, Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed is overseeing the talks with the emerging markets-focused financial institution about arranging the infrastructure loans,” Amaechi said recently in the capital, Abuja.
CCECC had signed a now controversial $11.2 billion contract with Amaechi’s predecessor in late 2014 to build the “Coastal Line,” which would connect the southwestern commercial hub of Lagos with the southeastern port town of Calabar. Buhari said in 2017 that the state-owned Export-Import Bank of China would shortly approve a $3.5 billion loan to help start building the 1,400-kilometer (870-mile) standard-gauge line, which Amaechi said the government plans to construct in segments.