Source:People’s Daily Online
Nigerian President Buhari (third from left in the front row) attends the Rye Railway opening ceremony at Mobolaji Johnson Railway Station and Unveiling. Photo by Peter Obasa (published by Xinhua News Agency)
The train at the opening ceremony of the Rye Railway.
The newly built Mobraj Johnson Railway Station. Photo by Emma Houston (issued by Xinhua News Agency)
At 11:28 on June 10th, local time, as a whistle rang, Nigerian President Buhari waved the flag and the train slowly left Lagos. Mobolage Johnson Railway Station in the Ebutmeta area of the city, heading to the largest port in Nepal, Port Apapa. After more than 4 years of waiting, Nigeria ushered in West Africa’s first modern double-track standard gauge railway-Lagos to Ibadan Railway (Rye Railway) officially opened and operated. This is the longest double-track standard gauge built in Africa so far. railway.
The Rye Railway is the second bidding section of the Nigeria Railway Modernization Project undertaken by China Turkey Group. It connects Lagos, the economic center of Nigeria, and Ibadan, an important industrial town in the southwest. The trunk line is about 157 kilometers long. There is an approximately 7-kilometer-long Apapa Port branch railway, which has realized”port-to-road connectivity”. The project adopts modern railway standards and has a design speed of 150 kilometers per hour, shortening the travel time between Lagos and Ibadan to 2 hours.
Bukhari said at the opening ceremony that the Abuja-Kaduna railway contracted by China Turkey Group was put into commercial operation in 2016 and produced good benefits. The opening of the Rye Railway is another”milestone” of the Nigerian government’s revitalization of the railway system, which is of great significance to Nigeria’s economic development. After the Rye Railway is put into operation, it will not only facilitate people’s travel, but also help improve the efficiency of port and inland cargo transportation, speed up Nigerian industry and Economic activities have been upgraded in quality.
Since the start of construction in March 2017, the Rye Railway Project has overcome many difficulties such as the complex construction environment, limited construction resources, and the impact of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, and successfully completed the opening of the railway to traffic. After the start of railway construction, it has promoted the development of supporting industries such as building materials and engineering construction, and brought a lot of jobs to the local area. Many vendors set up small stalls near the railway construction site, and the railway line gradually became lively. The governor of Lagos State Sanuru said that the Rye Railway will fundamentally change the living and working conditions of local people and open channels for urban development and commercial development.
In the peak period of railway construction, the project employs more than 10,000 local employees. Through the organization of centralized training and training by foreign professional institutions, the professional skills of local employees have been improved, and a group of management and technical skills have been cultivated. Infrastructure construction talents. Shaola, a local employee responsible for legal affairs and community coordination, said:“Chinese companies sincerely help us, not only Organized technical training, and also selected and sent a group of young engineers to China for further study. This is important for Nigeria’s national railway industry. Development plays an important role.”
On the running train, the 54-year-old railway policeman Victor said with emotion:“The new car is spacious and clean, cool and comfortable, and it travels fast and stable. It can be like this before retirement. I feel very honored to be on duty on a modern railway.”What makes Victor most happy is that now the train goes back and forth every day, and he can go home every day. Secretary of the Transport Committee of the Federal House of Representatives Sander said during the ride experience:”Chinese companies are very good and the quality of the project is very high. Thank you China for its strong support of infrastructure construction in Nigeria.”
(Abuja 6 December 12)
“People’s Daily” (version 03, June 13, 2021)