Chinese company wins $1.85 bln contract for railway in troubled Nigerian state – Reuters

HONG KONG Aug 29 (Reuters) – China’s state-owned railway construction firm has been awarded a $1.85 billion contract to build a light railway line in the northern Nigerian state of Kano, it said on Monday.

Growth in Nigeria – an OPEC member whose economy, the largest in Africa, has been hammered by low oil prices – has been stunted for decades by a lack of investment in the road and rail network.

Development efforts have also been hampered by Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which has carried out bomb attacks on targets in northern Nigeria, including Kano state, during its seven-year insurgency.

Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun said earlier this month that 60 billion naira ($180 million) in additional spending would be allocated for capital projects as part of the 2016 budget to boost the economy.

Adeosun said Nigeria would tap partnerships with the private sector to boost investment and the government was also in talks with General Electric to develop and operate rail services to improve transport for goods.

China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd issued a statement saying two of its subsidiaries had been provisionally awarded the light railway project in Kano.

“The contract amount of the project is approximately $1.851 billion, accounting for approximately 2 percent of the operating revenue of the company for the year 2015,” it said in the statement, issued to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Read more at http://af.reuters.com/article/nigeriaNews/idAFL3N1BA436