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Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW


The face of transportation in Abia State is set to change as a Canadian firm,Globim Corporation has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Abia State Government to build monorail system of transportation to connect Aba and Umuahia.
Chairman of Globim, Dr Jude Igwemezie, who led a delegation to yesterday to seal the MoU, said their firm specializes in the construction and management of monorail.



According to him, the project would cost $1.6 billion and would be entirely funded by the firm as Abia government would only be required to provide the land, security and manpower.



He said when it becomes fully operational, the monorail would generate 4,000 jobs in Abia and 20, 000 jobs across the Southeast.
He said that aside from providing commuters an efficient and alternative means of transport, the monorail, which would be built to run at a height of nine metres, would eliminate road hazards like accidents and robbery.



Igwemezie explained that the company was interested in introducing the monorail transportation system in Abia and other cities in the Southeast zone and eventually the entire Southeast would be connected with monorail integrated mode of transportation.



He said Globim had already secured approval to build monorail in Onitsha, Enugu and Calabar and assured the governor that they will provide the funding and expects the government to provide labour and security to them.



Governor Theodore Orji, who was visibly elated over the prospect of having the monorail running in his state, said after signing the MoU that the novel project was much acceptable to his government.

 

 
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed
NIGERIAN MONORAIL
on May 23, 2012 in Nigeria

Globim Corporation, described as a Canadian firm with expertise in building monorails, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Abia state government in Nigeria. Globim has undertaken to construct a monorail linking Aba (103km from Port Harcourt) and Umuahia (113km). Chairman Dr Jude Igwemezie, who led the Globim delegation to the MoU signing, was quoted saying the project would cost $US1.6 billion, “entirely funded by his firm”. The government’s contribution will be limited to supplying the land, security and manpower. The system is to run nine metres above ground, which Igwemezie claimed would “eliminate road hazards like accidents and robbery”. When fully operational, he promised, the monorail would generate 4,000 jobs in Abia and 20,000 across Nigeria’s south-east. Igwemezie was further quoted saying that “eventually the entire south-east would be connected with the monorail integrated mode of transportation”. Globim had already secured approval to build monorails in Nigeria’s Onitsha, Enugu and Calabar. Abia governor Theodore Orji was said to be “visibly elated over the prospect of having the monorail running”.
 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Nigeria: Having imported 20 Type N30m tank wagons from China, NTC is proposing to order 50 more to support plans by oil firms to transfer fuel movements from road to rail. 
 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

When the news filtered into the Nigerian environment that Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Canadian company, Globim Corporation, for the construction of a monorail transportation system in the state, many saw it as a welcomed development and expressed happiness with the novelty. Orji for one, his expression of joy knew no bound, as he assured the company of accomplishment of its business purpose in the state and also, advised that the monorail is expanded to other South-East states.

 

 

The idea of building monorail in Abia State is not bad, but it is coming at a very wrong and badly chosen time, when the people of the state need reality than fiction; it is a fact that there is no pliable road in Aba, the Enyimba City of South-East and in many other towns and villages of Abia State, and Orji is here giving hope that Aba is one of the places that are viable for the monorail project. Hokum!

 

 

While he has promised that the state would provide labour and security required for the success of the project, it will be good to remind the governor that in his first term in office he awarded several contracts of which many are yet to see upto ten percent attention, let alone, completion. Was the Achara Ihechiowa-Amagwu road awarded to Worldwide Environmental Technologies LTD at the tone of over N380m not one of the many roads that were awarded, but later abandoned?

 

 

Looking for relevance by every means necessary and un-necessary, Orji and his foot soldiers rather than engage in people-oriented works, took a dangerous image laundering campaign to Abuja and Lagos to hoodwink the Abia citizens in the Diaspora (who are wiser) that his Abia-led government was working, a project many Ndi-Abia who are not on his yesmen list are finding very difficult to believe, because they knew that Orji is a governor who has developed Abia State to a very great extent, but disappointedly, only on the pages of the newspapers.

 

 

Orji has not started work on the many projects he has awarded but the news on the newspapers is that he has done very well. The later statement, many people do not believe straight away. No matter how hard Orji’s image makers try to sell him in a good light to the people, one thing remains sacrosanct – he still remains unsalable.

 

 

The people of Ihechiowa for example and many others are crying for the dearth of government presence in their areas, yet Orji continues to show Nigerians the picture of Umuahia, the state capital, which was developed in the past administration, as if his government is on ground to develop Abia State.

 

 

It is not business of hypocrisy as usual, as many people of Abia State are no longer taking Orji and his many make-believe projects seriously. They see his projects such as the monorail as a conduit wire to continue to siphon the state more. In some quarters they see such projects as “419 Projects for Looting”. It is surprising how Orji could not fix the roads, provide security and business environment in Abia State, and here he is set to build monorail. Was this not the same way a former Governor of Imo State promised the people that he would build an airline, but that promise ended up as loot?

 

 

Monorail is capital intensive; and this is Abia State that hypothetically says that it receives N3.5 Billion as statutory monthly allocation, as against other states receiving more than. If a state in the South–South which earns say six times the money Abia State claims that it earns in a month is today gasping for the breathe to complete the monorail project it had started, how come Orji is cutting his coat more than  his size? This project in all angles any person stands to look at it is not doable!

 

 

What was expected from Orji is to plead with Ndi-Abia and sign an MoU with them to come and help him and openly tell them that he is governance-confused and has failed, and not compounding his problems with projects that are not feasible, such as building where motor or train would be running in the air from Aba to Umuahia and to Port Harcourt in Rivers State, whereas the existing rail line in Nigeria which only needs minor updates was abandoned.

 

 

With speculations of what Orji is doing in Abia State, that state is better off without a governor. Abia State is constitutionally, and should not be a family business of the Orjis, who have made and are still making the state miserable for the residents. Abians money is used to build personal mansions as could be seen at Azikiwe Road with more than ten security men armed to the teeth guarding the place. Illegal collection of environmental sanitation fees has become the order of the day in Abia State, especially for people living in Aba. Yet, both the N8, 000 forcefully collected from residents by the aid of combined touts and security agents as sanitation fee for down stairs, and N12, 000 for upstairs, are not used suitably for meaningful development of the state.

 

 

This is a state where Orji wants to build monorail: An Abia State where over hundred count charges of alleged stealing of Abia people’s funds are hanging over the neck of the governor, record of unprecedented cases of violent crimes is inundated? Several banks have been robbed and security personnel viciously killed, ladies wearing-trouser raped, and kidnapping of innocent people is the order of the day.

 

 

 

Without crumbling word, Abia under Orji has collapsed to a failed state in Nigeria: armed robbers and kidnappers now give ‘notice’ before they smack. The assault by hoodlums of First Bank Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc, both in Port Harcourt Road, Aba on Wednesday, June 2, 2010, is evidence. Inter alia, this compelled Abia people to call for the immediate resignation of Orji for lack of ability to oversee the state, yet Orji failed to toe the path of honour.

 

 

How can a man like Orji who is incapable to lead his family lead a wise and formidable people of Aba? Chinedu his son, popularly called Ikuku Ochendo, has abruptly become the nauseating factor in the state with some records of notoriety. His crude and flamboyant excesses in the state are worrisome. Did he not abandon his wife for a girlfriend whom he has been expending heavily for? What is his work? Some assailants in the government would say that he is an engineer.

 

 

Like Orji does not pay heed to the cries of the people of Abia State, so his Chinedu does not lend a listening ear to his father. Perhaps, deaf ears run in their family. If not, how could Chinedu allegedly engage his father in a fight-for-all when his father engage moves to curtailing Chinedu’s excesses, as Chinedu allegedly moves on long convoy of cars, intimidating and scaring people off the roads and also alleged to be in the habit of driving out customers from supermarkets and in eateries, finishing in the occurrence with the soldiers in Umuahia, after he slapped an Army captain on mufti for rejecting to make way for Chinedu and his hooligans. How could Chinedu, 41, with all these questionable habits be preparing grounds to run for the Senate in 2015, as alleged?

 

 

In a safe and sane environment, Orji was supposed to resign a long time or the people mobilize for non-violent civil disobedience for the dislodgement of Abia government led by him; if not for anything, for the signed into law of the state’s 2012 Appropriation bill of N129.9 billion he christened “the budget of transformation’’, and yet, there is no such thing as ‘transformation’ in practice.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed







The Daily Trust, published in Nigeria, quotes minister for works Senator Idris Umar saying that about 28% of the new line being built from Abuja to Kaduna is complete. The line is to be standard gauge, Umar adds, but says nothing about procuring rolling stock and locomotives to suit this. “The construction of the standard-gauge rail line in the central corridor from Itakpe through Ajaokuta to Warri is also in progress,” the Daily Trust reports Umar saying.

The senator is further quoted announcing that, in addition to the 1,067mm gauge line from Lagos to Ibadan whose reconstruction was completed recently, a contract for a new double-track line on standard gauge “is ready for award and awaiting the conclusion of funding arrangements with China Exim Bank.”  Umar’s news continues:

“The new standard gauge lines being laid across the country cover Lagos-Abuja, Lagos-Benin, Ajaokuta-Jakura-Baro-Abuja, Zaria-Kaura Namoda-Sokoto-Ollela, and Benin-Agbor-Asaba-Onitsha-Owerri-Aba and Onitsha-Nnewi. There are also the coastal line that covers Benin-Sapele-Warri-Yenagoa-Port Harcourt-Aba-Uyo-Calabar line, as well as a rail link between Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports in Lagos.”

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Nigeria’s Rivers State government on Tuesday expressed its commitment to complete the monorail project in the interest of the people.

Mr George Tolofari, the State Commissioner for Transport, told newsmen in Port Harcourt that the project was still on course.

The monorail project, which began on July 2010 has drawn criticisms from the public, with some critics stating that it was not in tune with the current needs of the state.

Tolofari said that the state government was politically and economically prepared to carry on with the project.

The commissioner did not give reason why work on the project was suspended, but said that every material needed for the first phase had been delivered.

“We have long taken delivery of materials for the completion of the project.

“We have no fear of any kind, the monorail project will be delivered for the use of our people, we will surely prove our critics wrong,’’ he said.

Tolofari urged Rivers’ people to shun unnecessary criticisms of government actions.

He urged them to rather provide useful inputs on how to move the state forward.

The project has triggered some political debate between the Action Congress of Nigeria and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, with the former petitioning the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and tagging the project ‘a white elephant’.

But the PDP in the state said the petition was unnecessary because the project was on course.

Mr Jerry Needam, the Rivers Publicity Secretary of the ACN, said in a statement in Port Harcourt on Tuesday that the monorail project had collapsed.

He said the party had gone ahead to invite the EFCC to investigate what it called “the white elephant project’’, alleging that the partners to the project suddenly withdrew while it was shrouded in secrecy.

“Its regrettable that everything about the monorail project is shrouded in secrecy, ranging from the actual amount of the project, the names of the contract partners, reasons for the withdrawal midway into the agreement.

“The reason for the snail-speed trailing the work, the actual amount paid to property owners whose property were demolished to make way for the project as all these have raised too many unaddressed questions, complaints and even court threats.

“In the light of all this, the EFCC has no excuse, not to embark on this mother of all investigations in the state,’’ he said.

Mr George Ukwuoma-Nwogba, the state’s Publicity Secretary of the PDP, however, said the ACN was crying wolf and could not justify its claims.

“ The monorail project is a technical one and is on course,’’ he said.

He said that Governor Chibuike Amaechi’s administration was determined to complete it, saying that majority of the materials needed to complete it had arrived in the state.

“ The PDP is solidly behind Governor Amaechi and we are not afraid of the EFCC coming to investigate the project because in the long run, the Governor will be vindicated,’’ he said.

Ukwuoma-Nwogba said that on completion, the monorail project would be the first of its kind in the country and would alleviate the transportation problems in the state.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed






According to Leadership (published in Abuja), quoting the United States Secretary for Transportation Ray LaHood, “Successes such as [the transport system in Lagos] set an example of how you build a 21st-century transportation network at home.” Applauding the bus rapid facility in Lagos, he said (in the paper’s words) “it is the first bus system in sub-Sahara Africa that allows passengers to avoid traffic congestion.” Lagos is currently building Nigeria’s first urban light rail network.

LaHood was speaking at the US-sub-Sahara Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (Agoa) in Washington DC. He “noted that while the Nigerian government financed the infrastructure costs, such as road construction, the private sector financed the buses, bus depots and maintenance facilities … the project created 2,000 direct jobs and moved more than 170 million people in its first three years of operation.”

Footnote: Launched in March 2008, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Lagos was indeed the first in Africa. Johannesburg’s BRT has been running since September 2009. – editor Railways Africa.


 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

THE multi-billion naira first monorail project in the South-South Nigeria is to commence operations in July 2014 in Calabar, Cross River State.

Initially, the 12.5-kilometre $34 million project as conceived by the Donald Duke administration was to link Margaret Ekpo International Airport to Tinapa in Adiabo in the outskirts of Calabar.

But considering a lull in business activities in Tinapa, the project had to be redesigned and expanded to cover most busy streets of Calabar Municipality and Calabar-South.

Special Adviser to Governor Liyel Imoke on Special Projects, Mr. Clement Akwaji, who disclosed this to reporters on a special media tour of government projects in the state said under the new arrangement, the monorail is meant to reduce problems and cost of intra-city transportation drastically.

He said that soon, the state government would sign a concession arrangement with Globin Corporation of Canada that will fund and manage the new monorail concept under which the distance is extended to 25.5 kilometres instead of the initial 12.5kilometres.

He could not give the current cost of the project but The Guardian gathered that taking everything into consideration, the new city line would gulp not less than $80 million.

According to him, “the old concept left out high density area and was restricted to Tinapa but the new concept is a city line cutting through four stations starting from Atimbo round about, University of Calabar gate, Cross River University of Technology gate, Mbukpa and will terminate at Tinapa

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

PORT HARCOURT - The ACN in Rivers says it has petitioned the EFCC on monorail project, embarked upon by the Rivers Government.



But the PDP in the state said the petition was unnecessary because the project was on course.
Mr Jerry Needam, the Rivers Publicity Secretary of the ACN, said in a statement in Port Harcourt that the monorail project had collapsed.



He said the party had gone ahead to invite the EFCC to investigate what it called “the white elephant project’’, alleging that the partners to the project suddenly withdrew while it was shrouded in secrecy.



“Its regrettable that everything about the monorail project is shrouded in secrecy, ranging from the actual amount of the project, the names of the contract partners, reasons for the withdrawal midway into the agreement.



“The reason for the snail-speed trailing the work, the actual amount paid to property owners whose property were demolished to make way for the project as all these have raised too many unaddressed questions, complaints and even court threats.



“In the light of all this, the EFCC has no excuse, not to embark on this mother of all investigations in the state,’’ he said.



Mr George Ukwuoma-Nwogba, the state’s Publicity Secretary of the PDP, however, told newsmen that the ACN was crying wolf and could not justify its claims.



“ The monorail project is a technical one and is on course,’’ he said.



He said that Governor Chibuike Amaechi’s administration was determined to complete it, saying that majority of the materials needed to complete it had arrived in the state.



“ The PDP is solidly behind Governor Amaechi and we are not afraid of the EFCC coming to investigate the project because in the long run, the Governor will be vindicated,’’ he said.



Ukwuoma-Nwogba said that on completion, the monorail project would be the first of its kind in the country and would alleviate the transportation problems in the state. 

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Five years after the foundation stone for the first monorail project in Cross River State was laid, the multi-million project is yet to take off, raising fears that the administration might have changed its mind on the scheme.

The ground breaking for the multi-million project was done in the last days of the Donald Duke administration in 2007, when the incumbent governor was about to be inaugurated.

The first phase of the 12.9-kilometre project was expected to cover the state’s business hub at Tinapa and the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, while the second phase would have been extended to all parts of the state.

But findings by our correspondent reveal that the project has not witnessed any progress beyond where Duke stopped five years ago.

Although Duke’s successor, Imoke, had given the assurance that his administration would take on the project with effect from the 2009 fiscal year, he has not matched his promise with action till date.

But apparently worried by public criticism, the state government had again said that the project will now be completed in 2014.
The Special Assistant to the Governor on Special Projects, Mr. Clement Akwaji, gave the new deadline when he spoke with journalists in Calabar.

Akwaji denied insinuations that the state had abandoned the project, which he described as very vital to the state and its people, insisting that efforts were in top gear to get it off the ground.

He said the Imoke-led administration was conscious of the need to complete the mega project so as to cater for the large number of visitors and tourists to the state.

The SA however said that the government was weighing certain issues, including low activities at Tinapa and low returns on investments at the business resort before taking a final decision on the project.

He said the government needed to resolve the contentious issues before getting a concession agreement for the project.

 
 
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed






State commissioner for transport George Tolofari told reporters in Port Harcourt on 26 June that that the Rivers state government in Nigeria is “politically and economically prepared” to carry on with the monorail project. On the drawing board since July 2010, the scheme has been widely criticised.

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has petitioned the economic and financial crimes commission, calling the project “a white elephant”. ACN Rivers state publicity secretary Jerry Needam alleges that the partners to the project “suddenly withdrew” while it was “shrouded in secrecy” – as, he claims, everything to do with the monorail project is shrouded in secrecy, “ranging from the actual amount of the project, the names of the contract partners, reasons for the withdrawal midway into the agreement, etc”. The amounts paid to owners whose properties were demolished to make way for the monorail have raised too many unaddressed questions, he says, together with complaints and even court threats.

Publicity secretary of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state George Ukwuoma-Nwogba says the monorail would be the first of its kind in the country and would alleviate transport problems. Governor Chibuike Amaechi’s administration was determined to complete the project, he asserted, adding that most of the materials needed had arrived in the state.


 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Nigeria's railway system remains inefficient



MONDAY, 09 JULY 2012 08:43 AMAKA ANAGOR










railway





Despite huge annual budgetary allocations to the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), the railway system has remained inefficient, apparently unable to serve as an alternative means of transporting passengers and freight from cities to the hinterlands.

 

In Lagos alone, the system has immense opportunities such as daily business of moving over 8,000 passengers within inter and intra city transportation. This includes movement of over 4,000 passengers from Lagos-Agbado- Iddo to Apapa and another 4,000 passengers between Lagos and Ilorin line.

The ineffectiveness of the rail system with huge potential has been linked by close watchers to high level corruption within the system.

It would be recalled that the former head of state, Sani Abacha, awarded about $500 million rail rehabilitation contract to resuscitate Lagos-Kano rail line, while former President Olusegun Obasanjo also awarded contract for the same Lagos- Kano rail line at $8.5 billion.

Currently, the Federal Government annually earmarks huge sums of money for the rehabilitation of key rail tracks in order to revive rail transport, yet Nigerian railway is lying economically dormant.

A peep into 2012 budget reveals that a total of N20.3 billion was approved for the NRC, out of which N16.3 billion was for capital expenditure that includes construction and rehabilitation of Jebba-Kano, Port Harcourt-Makurdi-Kaduna, Kuru- Maidugiri and Zaria- Kuru-Namoda rail tracks, plus the procurement and rehabilitation of rail wagons, coaches and tank wagons.

This is aside the N29.6 billion that was budgeted in 2011 for the construction and rehabilitation of most of the afore-mentioned rail tracks, excluding the N5.5 billion that was approved for the construction of Ajaokuta-Warri rail line.

Available statistics show that a total of N31 billion ($207 million) was approved on a special request in the supplementary appropriation bill of 2010 for the construction of Lagos-Ibadan rail lines while out of the N23.3 billion budgeted in 2009 for the NRC, N20.7 billion was reserved for capital projects that was expected to include rehabilitation of 120 coaches and wagons, including rehabilitation of the Ajaokuta-Warri rail line, which was also catered for in 2011 budget.

Reacting to this, Tony Anakebe, Managing Director, Gold-Link Investment Limited, a clearing and forwarding company, told our correspondent that the problem with the Nigerian railway is corruption within the system and, this, according to him, is reason for the failure of the rail system.

Eugene Nweke, national president, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), who affirmed that the railway system is an important component of the Nigerian economy, believes that Nigeria cannot attain any meaningful economic reformation without a well connecting and functional rail system.

According to him, the N2.5 billion Chinese government was supposed to have invested in the Nigerian rail sector coupled with government’s annual allocation of billions of naira to it do not have anything to show for it such that cargoes from the seaports cannot be moved directly to the approved Inland Container Depots (ICDs) across the country using the rail line.


 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

ABUJA, July 12 (Xinhua) -- China's investment in Africa has totalled about 10 billion U.S. dollars, but the continent is still in dire need of more capital from the country, Nigerian Foreign Affairs Minister Olugbenga Ashiru says.

In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Ashiru said the increase in trade between Africa and China will not only foster development in the continent, but also create mutual benefit for peoples in Africa and China.

"We believe that China is a partner for development," he said. "We will continue to look forward to cooperation with China, so that we can together ensure economic and social development of our continent."

Ashiru will be joining representatives from 50 African countries and the African Union at the fifth ministerial conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) slated for July 19-20 in Beijing, China.

Nigeria is seeking further cooperation and investments from China, especially in key sectors of the economy such as agriculture and transportation, he said.

A Chinese company has already expressed interest in Nigeria's railway rehabilitation, Ashiru said, adding it will be "very good for our economy because railway development is very important to our industrial growth and development."

"These are the sectors, including oil and gas, that China can look forward and invest in here," he added.

However, recent episodes of violence that hit the African state have spooked foreign investors, as dozens died in church bombings in the past month and a German engineer was killed on May 31 after being held hostage for more than four months.

But the minister shrugged off security concerns, saying "Nigeria is quite safe and ready to receive Chinese investors."

"The challenges we have are temporary and cannot over-shadow long term gains of Chinese investments in Nigeria. The challenges we have are localized to certain areas only, it's not a widespread phenomenon," he said.

"They (Chinese investors) are also aware that they will make bumper returns in terms of profits and dividends in Nigeria. We have a big market here. Nigeria is a market for the future, and that's why China knows that they must be in Nigeria," he said.

Nigeria, China's second largest trading partner in Africa, has Africa's largest population of 167 million, and is the largest oil producer in the continent. The African country also has abundant reserves of natural gas and coal.

The Nigerian minister said African leaders would put forward their agenda regarding areas that need urgent improvement at the FOCAC, after first harmonizing their positions on the current level of development at the ongoing African Union (AU) summit in Ethiopia.

Jointly set up by China and Africa in October 2000, the FOCAC has made abundant achievements in the last decade, boosting the development of the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership in an all-round and tangible way.

The FOCAC, a collective consultation and dialogue mechanism between China and African countries, is the first of its kind in the history of China-Africa relations.


 

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed






In the second week of July, the closing of the third mainland bridge at Lagos for repairs caused unprecedented traffic gridlock in a city already notorious for lengthy road jams. Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) managing director Seyi Sijuwade announced that services would be augmented to deal with the resultant increase in commuters using trains. There are to be twelve trains running daily, with at least nine coaches each. As additional coaches are released from rehabilitation, these will be used too


 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

 Nigeria's government said on Wednesday it had signed a $1.49 billion contract with state-owned China Civil Engineering Construction Corp (CCECC) to build a railway between the commercial capital Lagos and Ibadan.

Lagos, the heartbeat of Africa's second largest economy, is around 130 km south of Ibadan, Nigeria's third largest city and a transit point between the coast and the north.

"(Cabinet) today approved the award of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway double track contract to CCECC in the sum of $1.487 billion ... with a completion period of 36 months," Minister of Transport Idris Umar told reporters.

Umar gave no details on where the funds would be found to pay for the project.

Nigeria's Ogun state, which borders Lagos state, awarded CCECC an $8.4 million road contract earlier this year.

Ethiopia signed a deal with CCECC in December last year to build the final section of a railway line that will link its capital Addis Ababa to the tiny Red Sea state of Djibouti.

Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, is overly reliant on its 2 million barrel crude oil export business and massive investment is needed in infrastructure, including transport and power, to help diversify its economy and alleviate poverty.

But corruption and mismanagement mean many projects never see the light of day or run well behind schedule and over budget. 

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

ABUJA, July 18 (Xinhua) -- The Nigerian government on Wednesday approved about 1.5 billion U.S. dollars for the execution of the southwestern Lagos-Ibadan double track railway line modernization project, one of the west African country's major railway projects in recent times.

Minister of Information Labaran Maku disclosed this to reporters, saying the approval followed a memorandum presented to the government on the railway modernization project.

Noting that the rail project was in 2006 awarded to the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) Ltd but could not be completed due to paucity of funds, the minister said the project would now be executed in six phases.

The project which is expected to be completed in 36 months and generate more than 5,000 jobs in the country, would cover 2,733 kilometers, he said.

"The standard gauge line which the government approved is going to run between Lagos, Ibadan, Ilorin, Minna and Kano. There would also be a phase that will take off from Minna to Abuja," he said.

The one from the west African country's capital city Abuja to northwest Kaduna State is already under construction, according to the minister.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed
NIGERIA's council of ministers has approved the decision to award China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) a $US 1.49bn contract for the modernisation of the 130km line from Lagos to Ibadan.

The contract for the double track line was approved at a government ministers' meeting held in Abuja on July 18, almost six years after the project was stalled by a shortage of available funds.

Transport minister Mr Idris Umar says work will be completed within three years, although he did not explain how it will be financed.

The project is the first stage of a five-phase modernisation of the 1200km Lagos – Jebba – Zaria – Kano line.

The government of President Mr Goodluck Jonathan is seeking to amend the Railway Act of 1955 to allow for private investment in country's underdeveloped railway network.
 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Abuja — The Federal Executive Council, yesterday, approved the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Rail Double Track with Double Formation under Addendum No. 2 (2nd segment) of the modernisation of Lagos-Kano railway project.

Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, who addressed State House correspondents after the meeting said the contracts were awarded in favour of Messrs China Civil Engineering Construction Company Nig Ltd in the sum of $ 1,487,782,196.00 payable at the prevailing exchange rate at the time of payment, inclusive of all taxes with a completion period of 36 months.

Maku who was accompanied by the Ministers of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed; Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga; Transport, Idris Umar; Power, Barth Nnaji, and Urban and Housing Developmnet, Ama Pepple, said council approved contracts including the implementation of Addendum No. 2 (2nd segment: Lagos-Ibadan to the main contract for the railway modernisation project (Phase 1; Lagos-Kano) for the Ministry of Transport.


According to him, the council also approved the variation of the scope of the contract for design and construction of Abuja Rail Mass Transit Project (Lots 1&3) from the initial work span of 60.67km to 45.245km (Lots 1A &3).

With the variation, the contract sum was reduced from $841,645,898.00 to $823,540,545.87 payable at the prevailing exchange rate, at the time of payment inclusive of 5 per cent VAT and 5 per cent variation on prices.

Speaking on the other contracts in the power sector, Maku said in line with accepted best practice in the operation and maintenance of hydropower the council approved the supply and installation of parts for the 2 x 140MW Units 411G3 Generators at Shiroro Hydroelectric Plc, in favour of Messrs AsNDRITZ Hydro GmbH, in the sum of N2,075,754.00.

This is in addition to the naira sum of N13,326340.68 to be retained by Shiroro Hydroelectric Plc to cover 1% CISS fees and 2% Port and Handling charges, with a completion period of eight months.

Council also approved the restoration of four Plant units and balance of plant at Omotosho Power Plc in favour of China Machinery and Engineering Corporation in the sum of USD 10,092,771.15 payable at the prevailing exchange rate at the time of payment, plus N78,753,893.30 for 5% VAT with a completion period of 6 months.

Speaking on investment drive in the country, Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga said Nigeria has improved in the FDI attaraction index to 23rd position making it a first quarter country for FDI attractiveness.

In another development, Nigeria is said to have made the final list of Common Wealth Association of Public Admnistration and Management (CAPAM). It is the first time Nigeria is participating in the international innovations award

The Ministry of Health made a summation on their midwives services scheme. The scheme is meant to address one of the goals of the MDGs that has to do with the reduction of maternal and infant mortality. It is a federal government programme by the ministry of health that employs qualified midwives, some of them retired and newly qualified ones.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed

The Nigerian government has awarded China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) a $1.49bn contract to modernise its 130km rail line from Lagos to Ibadan.

CCECC will build the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail double track line, which will be one of Nigeria's largest railway projects in recent times, and maintain it for five years.

Work under the project is expected to take 36 months, including the survey and design, the construction and laying 156.65km of track, telephone systems and signalling components.

The project was originally awarded to CCECC in 2006 but could not be completed due to a lack of funds.

The Nigerian government has renewed the project with the Chinese company after re-negotiating and re-phrasing the contract.

Nigerian Information Minister Labaran Maku said the approval of the contract followed a memorandum presented to the government.

"The standard gauge line which the government approved is going to run between Lagos, Ibadan, Ilorin, Minna and Kano," Maku said.

"There would also be a phase that will take off from Minna to Abuja."

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed






On 18 July, the Nigerian Federal Government disclosed the signing of a $US1.49 billion, 36-month contract with China for the construction of a double-track, standard gauge railway from Lagos to Ibadan (193km), as part of the “the Lagos-Kano railway modernisation project.” Briefing journalists in
Abuja, minister of information Labaran Maku said council approved contracts including the implementation of Addendum no 2 (2nd segment:
Lagos-Ibadan to the main contract for the railway modernisation project (Phase 1; Lagos-Kano).

Rebuilding of the existing 1,067mm gauge Lagos-Kano line is virtually complete and it was expected that train services would recommence in the second half if 2012. The previous contract with China for the reconstruction of this route on standard gauge collapsed six years ago.

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed






Briefing journalists in Abuja on 18 July, minister of information Labaran Maku announced a variation in the contract with the China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CCECC), for the design and construction of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit Project. The original 60.67km has been changed to 45.245km and the amount payable increased from $841,645,898.00 to $823,540,545.87 payable at the prevailing exchange rate, inclusive of 5% VAT and 5% variation on prices. The work is to be completed within 36 months.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

THERE is no doubt that the N70billion Lagos State light rail project would be one of the most impactful projects the state will ever have. And the state  governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola seems  serious on seeing the project through.   The ambitious venture is designed as a high capacity, electrically powered rail mass transit system. According to the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), which is supervising the scheme, the light rail project would comprise a network of seven rail lines, namely, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Purple, Brown and Orange.

However, four years after the contract was awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), work is behind schedule, with the project still in the first phase of construction. The scheme has been disappointingly delayed by reviews and shifting deadlines. The 27.5km Blue Line, which is to run from Marina to Okokomaiko and constitutes the first phase of the project, is now scheduled for completion in 2015 as only the first eight kilometres of the rail line is expected to be completed this year, that is, from Mile 2 to the National Theatre.  

According to LAMATA, the Blue Line would have 13 stations, with the end-to-end journey time approximated at 35 minutes. Most of the route will be on the surface, running east-west, in the central reservation of the rebuilt 10-lane Badagry Expressway between Igbo-Elerin Road (Okokomaiko) and Iganmu. The line will run on elevated structure from Iganmu along the south side of the expressway, passing the junction with Eric Moore Road, crossing just south of the National Theatre to Iddo, then south to Lagos Island, with a terminal at Marina. The line will operate over a secure and exclusive right-of-way, with no level crossings and no uncontrolled access by pedestrians or vehicles.  

The construction setback is reportedly connected with funding difficulties, which the state government will have to overcome to keep the plan on course. There can be no excuse for failure to realise the laudable vision. However, the alleged dearth of state funds is only one dimension of the challenges that may hinder the project. Apart from the administration’s required financial commitment, the success of the project is also dependent on the provision of rolling stock by the concessionaire that would operate the line.   

Under the plan, the state government is expected to sign a concession agreement with a private contractor that would provide the railway equipment, including electric power, signalling, rolling stock and fare collection equipment.  Although the proposed involvement of the private sector in the operation of the line is likely to boost its efficiency, that stage of the project is still in the future and uncertain.

When the line is, hopefully, completed, there is no doubt that it would be a welcome blessing to commuters who travel on public transport in Lagos and  who daily contend with transport headaches. The rail line would expectedly complement road transport which remains the major mode of transport in the state. Imagine how far rail transport can go in easing transport difficulties in the state when all the planned seven rail lines are eventually completed and the number of people that it would provide employment for. 

While the Lagos light rail network is an excellent idea that should be pursued to a logical conclusion,  we however urge the government to also give serious consideration to improving water transport in the state which proudly bears the appellation “State of Aquatic Splendour” because of an abundance of water. There is an urgent need to exploit the available waterways for the benefit of commuters in the megacity.  

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Commissioners for Transport from 17 states of the South-west, South-east and South-south have met to strategise on the construction of the Lagos to Calabar rail line.

The meeting has raised the hope of realisation of the project also known as East-West Railway.

Held in Calabar, Cross River State, at the instance of BRACED Commission, the meeting was also attended by special advisers and senior transport officials from the Southern States.

BRACED is an acronym for Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta.

A statement from the commission, quoted its Director-General, Mr. Joe Keshi, as saying that the meeting was convened against the backdrop of the conclusions of the last two South-south Economic Summits during which the need for the expansion of the national rail network in the country to include the East-West rail line from Lagos to Calabar was emphasised.

The Lagos-Calabar rail will traverse the South-west, South-east and the South-south. Such a rail line, it was disclosed, will equally meet the aspirations of the South-west, which had also indicated the desire to build a rail line connecting the region.

It was however revealed at the meeting that linking the South-west aspiration to a rail line that runs through South-east to the South-west remained the most viable, profitable and sustainable railway route in the country.

"This followed an axle road study conducted by the Federal Ministry of Transport in 2008 which showed that the highest road traffic in Nigeria was between the East and West, thereby justifying the establishment of the East-West rail line. More importantly, this made it imperative for a meeting of minds among the seventeen southern states and the necessity to forge a common front to engage the Federal Government which under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 oversees the development and construction of railways in Nigeria," Keshi said.

According to him, in the communiqué issued after the meeting, which was also attended by railway experts, representatives of the Federal Ministry of Transport and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), brought out the importance of expanding railway development in Nigeria to include the East-West rail line as part of the national development agenda to improve mass transportation in Nigeria.

The communiqué noted that the East-West railways, traversing three zones and 17 states was the most viable, profitable and sustainable rail line in the national rail network and would change the economic dynamics of the concerned regions when constructed.

He said: "The three zones constitute the busiest commercial belt of the country. A rail line linking them would aid easy movement of services and goods especially petroleum products (the mainstay of the national economy), farm produce both for export and for local consumption. The contiguous nature of the 17 states would translate to faster movement of personnel."

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola recently conducted an on-the-spot assessment of the ongoing Lagos Light Rail Project where he gave assurance that the project will be delivered on time, if funding is available. BERTRAM NWANNEKANMA and ONYEDIKA AGBEDO, who were at the event, write on the imperative of speedy completion of the project against the backdrop of the traffic snarl being witnessed by residents across the state as a result of the closure of the Third Mainland Bridge for routine repairs.

NOT many Lagos commuters, who have passed through the third Mainland Bridge since the partial closure of the bridge to allow for routine maintenance, would forget their experiences in a hurry. They spent gruesome hours in traffic.

The Babatunde Fashola-led government has embarked on series of transport infrastructural projects in its bid to transform the city into Africa’s model megacity. Several road rehabilitation projects have been executed and road expansion projects are ongoing in several parts of the metropolis.

The most notable of these efforts was the creation of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), which had recorded successes in delivering the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Scheme, thereby affording Lagos commuters access to a neater, more comfortable bus transport system and improved journey time.

The scheme, which runs from Mile 12 to Lagos Island along Ikorodu Road, has won international acclaim and currently has passenger traffic of over 200,000 per working day. Despite the success recorded by the BRT Scheme, the need for additional mass transport system like the rapid rail transit system has remained very glaring. The need is made more urgent by decades of neglect of the Nigerian rail system, which was at a time regarded as the first well thought-through and funded railway system in Africa.

To this end, LAMATA has developed a Rail Master Plan with an extensive network of rail lines connecting most parts of Lagos metropolis. Like the BRT scheme, the urban rail system will be implemented through a Public Private Partnership arrangement (PPP).

The idea of developing rapid rail transit in Lagos actually dates back to the 1980s, with the Lagos Metroline network conceived by the Alhaji Lateef Jakande Administration during in the Second Republic. However, the idea was scrapped in 1985 by  the Muhammadu Buhari Regime. The termination of that contract and the epileptic performance of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC)  has left Lagos as the only mega city in the world without a rail-based mass transit (RBMT) system.

But the framework developed by LAMATA for the rail mass transit system would provide passenger rail services on the most heavily travelled corridors in Lagos. The first two lines being developed are the Red Line and the Blue Line. Both lines will be developed on a PPP basis, with the Lagos State Government providing all rail and station infrastructure. The concessionaire will procure and finance rolling stock, depot facilities, as well as provide operations and maintenance over a 25-year period.

The Red Line rail system is being developed on the  North-South axis through some of the most densely populated areas in Lagos. Beginning on the island, the Red Line will run north to Agbado through a total of 13 stations. From the Marina to Iddo stations, the Red Line will share the alignment with the Blue Line. The shared infrastructure in these portions will be constructed as part of the Red Line project. From Agbado to Iddo, the Red Line will utilise the existing Nigerian Railways Corporation (NRC) corridor.

The Blue Line will run 27km from Okokomaiko to Marina, one of the most densely travelled corridors in Lagos. The rail infrastructure is being developed in conjunction with the Badagry Expressway project, a proposed toll road running from Lagos to Badagry. The Blue Line will run on an exclusive 15-metre right of way in the middle of the expressway.  In total, there will be 13 stations, three that will be shared with the Red Line system. The stations will be located above the tracks, with large pedestrian walkways crossing the expressway. Large concrete barriers will be placed between the rail lines and the expressway to ensure no external factors will disrupt service. The Blue Line system will require the construction of two bridges. The larger of the two to be shared with the Red Line, will connect the mainland with the island. The second bridge will be across the river at Mile 2.

Commenting on the project, Governor Fashola said, “the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) project will be the most multi-dimensional and most impactful efforts of the Lagos State Government at combating Lagos’ untamed traffic congestion, which has had adverse effect on the economy and the environment.”

To ensure speedy completion of the project, the governor recently undertook an on-the-spot assessment of work done on the project from Orile to Mile 2.

Elated by what he saw, Governor Fashola gave assurance that, from all indications, especially given the pace at which the contractors, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), is moving with the work, the first seven kilometres of the Blue Line of the Light Rail Project will be delivered before the end 2012.

 
Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

The Federal Capital Territory Administration has spent N22.4bn on the Abuja Mono Light Rail project.

The Secretary for Transportation, Mr. Jonathan Ivoke, said this at the opening ceremony of the senior staff retreat of the secretariat on Saturday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that Ivoke said the Chinese government was expected to provide $500m as a counterpart fund for the project awarded to Chinese Construction Company, CCECC, in 2007.

According to him, the project will be completed in 2015 as against the initial 2013 completion date as only 20 per cent of the work had been done.

“By 2015, there will be rail mass operation within the capital city,’’ he said.

He said the secretariat had assigned 500 Bus Rapid Transit to different routes in a bid to provide efficient, effective and affordable environmentally friendly mass transit system.

In his address, the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, said the rail system would ease movement of personnel, goods and services.

Mohammed, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Anthony Ozodinobi, said that the project, when completed, would launch Abuja into reckoning as one of the “global city brands.”

“Early this year, we launched the FCT Operators’ Licence Scheme and rolled out a fleet of over 400 buses as one of our palliatives aimed at cushioning the effect of the partial removal of oil subsidy.”

In her message, the FCT Minister of State, Ms Olajumoke Akinjide, commended the transport secretariat for its effort at translating the vision of the FCTA in area of public transportation into reality.

Akinjide who was represented by the Director, Satellite Town Development Agency, Mr. Tukur Ibrahim, called for a comprehensive re-orientation in “ethics and values, including the re-engineering of the service delivery process of government.”

 

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