Transport in Nigeria

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Decaying infrastructure is one of the deficiencies that Nigeria’s National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS) seeks to address. The government has begun to repair the country’s poorly maintained road network. Because Nigeria’s railways are in a parlous condition, the government is trying to rectify the situation by privatizing the Nigerian Railway Corporation. Similarly, the government is pursuing a strategy of partial port privatization by granting concessions to private port operators so that they can improve the quality of port facilities and operations.


Contents

Railways

Railways in Nigeria are operated by the Nigerian Railway Corporation.

As of 2003, Nigeria’s rail system had 3,557 kilometers of track, 19 kilometers of which were dual gauge and the remainder, standard gauge. The country has two major rail lines: one connects Lagos on the Bight of Benin and Nguru in the northern state of Yobe; the other connects Port Harcourt in the Niger Delta and Maiduguri in the northeastern state of Borno. As of March 2006, Nigeria and Niger expected to move forward with plans to establish a rail link between the two countries. Nigeria is also seeking a rail link with Cameroon, but discussions are more contentious in the aftermath of the International Court of Justice’s October 2002 verdict in favor of Cameroon on the issue of control of the Bakasi Peninsula. In order to remedy the poor condition, efficiency, and profitability of the nation’s railways, the government is seeking to privatize the Nigerian Railway Corporation. Under the privatization plan, three separate concessions of 25–30 years would be granted to private-sector companies to run train services in the western, central, and eastern regions.[1]

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