The China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) has completed track laying on the Port Harcourt to Aba segment on the Port Harcourt Maiduguri narrow gauge rail line project.
The CCECC in a tweet through the handle @johnCCECC on X announced the completion. He tweeted “New year, new progress! The track laying from Port Harcourt to Aba on the Nigeria Eastern Narrow-Gauge Railway project has been completed by #CCECC.”
With the completion of the track laying, very soon, the facility should be put to use and this would mark a significant milestone in the Nigeria Eastern Narrow-Gauge Railway project.
The project starts from Port Harcourt and passes through Aba, Umuahia, Enugu, Makurdi, Lafia, Kuru, Bauchi, Gombe, and Ashaka to Maiduguri and encompasses rail tracks, culverts, and bridges. It has new branch lines to Owerri, Imo State, and Damaturu, Yobe State. This would resuscitate the once vibrant railway transportation in the Eastern railway corridor.
At the time the contract was awarded, the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the 2044.1 kilometre rail line was to cost $3.2 billion, while extending to cover a total of 12 states, officials said.
“The connection of the railway to a new seaport in Bonny Island and Railway Industrial Park, Port Harcourt, is designed to increase the viability and boost trans-shipment of cargo and freight locally, across the West African sub-region and in the Continental Free Trade Area” President Mohammed Buhari had said at the groundbreaking.
The Minister of Transportation at the time, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi had said upon completion, trains on the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Eastern Narrow-Gauge Railway would run at 60-80 kilometres per hour and 80-100 kilometres per hour for freight and passenger respectively.
He also said the seaport and park were being developed through direct investment by a conglomerate led by Messrs CCECC Nigeria Limited with a total investment portfolio of $700 million as part of the contract.