Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) is the state-owned enterprise with exclusive rights to operate railways in Nigeria. 

Up until 2012 Nigeria's rail system consisted of 3,505 km of 3 ft. 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge lines and 479 km of standard gauge lines. Track condition limited trains to a speed of 35 km/h and services were unreliable, however successive governments since then have upgraded and modernized some of the countries rail infrastructure. 

Projects completed 

In July 2016 the ItakpeAjaokuta – Warri Railway Standard Gauge project, which was first conceived thirty-two years ago, was completed.  

Abuja (Idu) to Kaduna (Rigasa) Standard Gauge project completed.   

There has been rehabilitation of the existing narrow gauge lines including:

  • Lagos – Jebba 480 km line  
  • Jebba – Kano 624 km line
  • Port Harcourt – Aba – Enugu – Makurdi 468 km line 
  • Kuru – Bauchi – Gombe – Maiduguri 640 km line
  • Makurdi – Kafanchan – Kaduna Junction – Kuru line

Upgrade and modernisation of key railway components and equipment, procurement of Rolling Stock (wagons, coaches) and an assortment of parts for operational use. 

The Enterprise Resource Programme (ERP) was installed to promote efficiency and the upgrade and modernisation of the antiquated communication and signalling system of the entire rail system.  

Introduction of the Transport Sector Reform Bill, which includes the Nigerian Railways Authority (NRA) Bill, designed to open up the sector for the first time, to private sector participation. 

Projects underway 

A 156.5km double track standard gauge line between Lagos –Ibadan has almost been completed (flagged off for use in December 2019). It has a design capacity for a 150 km/hour speed. It is part of the planned, longer Lagos – Kano line.  

284 km Kano – Katsina – Makurdi Standard Gauge line. 
 
Further planned projects

  1. The 2163 km Port Harcourt – Maiduguri single-track standard gauge rail-line that would traverse major industrial cities along the Eastern corridor, South-South, South-East and the North-Eastern geo-political zones of the country. It is due to be completed in three years’ time (2022). 
  2. The Coastal Railway Project proposed for Nigeria’s coastal states corridor that spans from Lagos to Calabar and cuts through most states in the South East and South. The high speed rail would have the capability of cutting travelling time of 11 hours from Lagos to Calabar by road to less than 3 hours by bullet train. 

Completion of projects has not automatically translated into operational reality and consequently, despite the ongoing development of rail infrastructure in Nigeria, it can still not be considered a viable freight transport option of a commercial scale to replace road. 

For more information on government contact details, please see the following link: 4.1 Nigeria Government Contact List

Travel Time Matrix 

 

Travel Time from Capital City to Major Towns (Hours) 

 

Lagos 

Ibadan 

Osogbo 

Ilorin 

Jebba 

Minna 

Kaduna 

Kano 

Lagos 

 

5 

8 

11 

14 

20 

26 

35 

Ibadan 

5 

 

3 

3 

9 

15 

21 

30 

Osogbo 

8 

3 

 

3 

6 

12 

16 

27 

Ilorin 

11 

3 

3 

 

3 

9 

15 

24 

Jebba 

14 

9 

6 

3 

 

6 

12 

21 

Minna 

20 

15 

12 

9 

6 

 

6 

15 

Kaduna 

26 

21 

16 

15 

12 

6 

 

9 

Kano 

35 

30 

27 

24 

21 

15 

9 

 


Operational Passenger Rail route  

  • Lagos - Kano 

 

Railway Companies and Consortia 

As outlined above, railways are run by the Government.  

Progress need to be made before it is a competitive, viable option for transportation of freight.  

For more information on railway company contact details, please see the following link: 4.9 Nigeria Railway Companies Contact List

 Capacity Table

Rail Operator Capacity 

 

NRC 

Operator / 

Company Name 

Operator / 

Company Name 

Lines Operates O 

List lines 

List lines 

List lines 

Max Train Length and / or Pulling Capacity 

 

 

 

Locomotives  

Diesel  

Electric / Diesel / Steam 

Electric / Diesel / Steam 

Covered Freight Wagons Size (m) 

 

 

 

Flatbed Freight Wagons Size (m) 

 

 

 

High-sided Freight Wagons Size (m) 

 

 

 

Drop-side Freight Wagons Size (m) 

 

 

 

Key Route Information 

Currently railways are not a viable option for transport of freight cargos.