Why Kill the Coastal Rail Project?

By Chris Agabi

The exclusion of the 1,402km Coastal Rail Project from the recently passed 2016 Appropriation Bill has generated heated debate in the country. Whilst the discussion as to the moral and politics of the exclusion or inclusion rages, we'd like to extend the conversation to the economic benefits of the project.

As of 2003, Nigeria's rail system had only some 3,557 kilometers of single gauge track largely not functioning. The country had just two major rail lines: Lagos to Kano and Port Harcourt, River state to Maiduguri, the Borno state. Both lines were relatively in a state of disrepair until in 2009, when some significant investments began to creep into resuscitating the sleeping economic giant.

Thus the country has to rely on road to transport heavy goods across the country, a situation that has left our roads in worst conditions.

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