China to Invest $250 Million on Dry Port in Southwest Nigeria
By Obafemi Oredein
IBADAN, Nigeria-China will invest $250 million on a dry port in Ibadan, the major city in Nigeria`s southwest Oyo state, China Railway Construction Corp. Ltd. Chairman Fenjian Chen said Friday.
The dry port will decongest heavy commercial traffic in Lagos, and speed up the clearance of goods by the Customs service, said Mr. Chen during an audience with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, according to a statement from the president`s office.
The Nigerian Shippers Council said the dry port will be located at the terminal end of the 156-kilometer Lagos-to-Ibadan standard-gauge railway line now under construction by a Chinese company.
The CRCC is building the railway, dry port, free trade zone and highways, Mr. Chen said. The company has 18,000 local employees in Nigeria, and expects to add 40,000 more jobs, he said.
Nigeria`s infrastructure had deteriorated over the years, "affecting the standard of living, and leading to loss of lives through avoidable accidents," President Buhari said.
"We are very grateful to China for the effort to rebuild our infrastructure, and for bringing technical expertise to the country. We will give the required support and cooperation, so that our old, and out of date, and collapsed infrastructure might be turned around," Mr. Buhari said.
The major sea ports of Apapa and Tin Can island in Lagos, the Nigerian commercial capital, are currently congested. Exports such as cocoa and other agricultural commodities and imports are delayed for weeks, slowing economic activities.
-By Obafemi Oredein for Dow Jones Newswires
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 10, 2019 15:00 ET (19:00 GMT)Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.