The population on the African continent is booming, which represents both vast opportunities and significant risks. Adequate infrastructure is one of the key determinants as to which of the two sides dominates. Consequently, many African governments are increasingly investing into rail infrastructure.
To make use of arising opportunities, africon was contracted by a globally leading rail component supplier. The project target was to identify opportunities and ways to access them in Nigeria.
Overall, the Nigerian rail industry has recently seen various positive developments. The market is experiencing significant growth, despite a vast range of challenges that persist. The total level of rail development in Nigeria still lags behind many other African countries, such as Kenya. However, in a drive to supplement or replace the old narrow-gauge network, Nigeria is working on many projects for its new standard gauge network. Among them are large lines connecting major urban centers and intracity lines in Lagos and Abuja. Some of these projects such as the Lagos Ibadan line have recently been completed. Others are in various stages of construction, planning, and evaluation. Consequently, the country’s rolling stock is increasing. While maintenance is still often poor, the standard gauge stock is in better condition.
A “force to reckon with” in many areas of the industry is the strong Chinese influence. Chinese entities hold significant impact in areas such as funding, infrastructure development, and rolling stock. Nevertheless, significant opportunities also exist for other international suppliers. Critical are the right local partners, as well as an open eye for potential cooperation with Chinese players.
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