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China, Nigeria sign N2trn railway deal

By The Citizen
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China Railway Construction Corporation Limited has signed a contract for a $13.1billion, about N2 trillion, railway project with the Ministry of Transportation for a coastal railway line that will transverse ten states of Nigeria.

The length of the railway line will be 1,385 km in one-way mileage and a design speed of 120 km/h including twenty-two railway stations which is expected to be built along the line.

In a related development, Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng also at the ongoing World Economic Forum in Abuja, said that China encourages more Chinese enterprises to expand investment in Nigeria's manufacturing sector, transfer technologies and train personnel to increase local job opportunities. He said such economic bilateral relationship will compliment each other's economic interest since Nigeria has a huge population and consumer market, while China has an edge in the processing industry.

'The two countries can further deepen bilateral cooperation in areas like textile, garment and household appliance industries on the basis of their current economic and trade cooperation zones, while gradually expanding the scale and level of cooperation.

'In recent years, investment from China's private enterprises in Nigeria has increasingly been active as over 40 Chinese private firms have entered Nigeria with a total investment of $800 million in the fields of agriculture, textile industry, construction materials, mining and others,” he said.

According to him, 'Chinese enterprises invest in Nigeria's seed cultivation and have become the Nigerian government's seed providers, which helps boost local self-support in grain. Chinese and Nigerian enterprises have joined hands in operating satellite networks, with digital television signals covering 84 percent of the African country, which promoted cultural exchanges of both countries.'

He added that, 'Within the framework of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum, Chinese enterprises and the Nigerian government have worked together to build two economic and trade cooperation zones in Nigeria and to open chinaware, furniture and household appliance manufacturing factories, which have created more than 4,000 jobs in the country.'