Who: President Muhammadu Buhari; Abuja-Kaduna railway; The Nigeria Railway Corporation

What: President Buhari is set to cut the sod for the new Abuja-Kaduna railway. It spans 186km and will serve both passenger and cargo trains. It's one of Nigeria's few stretches of standard gauge lines. The country's rail lines are mostly narrow gauge.

The Nigeria Railway Corporation has been test-running the train services along this line for a month now, moving people for free. The fare will now cost about US$2.

When & Where

Buhari will open the new rail line in Abuja tomorrow, July 26.


Nigeria has 3,800km of rail lines, but the only part fully functioning connects Lagos in the south to Kano in the north, stretching 1,200km. The previous administration under Goodluck Jonathan wanted to address this infrastructure problem by fixing the defective lines and building new ones. So it began by developing the Abuja-Kaduna line, which the current Buhari administration finished this year.


Opening the new rail line signifies progress, but Nigeria's rail sector still needs a lot of work because train services are often unreliable due to the largely poor state of existing infrastructure.

That's why the Buhari government planned to spend about US$300 million this year on rail constructions—indicating it intended to give this sector priority. This may not materialise soon anyway  given the state of the Nigerian economy, but other rail projects are ongoing. At the very least it points to the growing inter-connectedness of the country and joining the capital to the north-western trade hub of Kaduna, will presumably be a popular route.

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