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Changing the Way Nigerians Travel

Nigeria’s rail modernisation effort is driving change in real estate as stressed out Lagosians look to live beyond expensive housing in the commercial capital. If this is combined with serious industrial growth along transport corridors, it could flip decades of Lagos-centric growth. Much of Nigeria’s railway infrastructure was built by the UK colonial administration to facilitate governance and cheaply transport goods to the seaports for export. After falling into disuse for many years, the country’s railway architecture is now being modernised and rehabilitated. One of the new rail projects, the Lagos-Ibadan double standard-gauge rail is facilitating real estate development along its corridors in Ogun and Oyo states, and could ultimately decongest Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital with a perennial congestion problem. This vital line establishes an end-to-end logistic supply chain in railway transport within its short corridor, Lagos – Ibadan, as goods to the hinterland would now be transported by rail directly from the Apapa Port straight to the Inland Container Depot located in Ibadan from where it can be distributed to other parts of the country. Construction of the line faced several challenges, including the Covid-19 pandemic, a tight schedule, complex environment, and limited construction resources. The line provides a connection to the Port of Apapa in Lagos, creating a new economic corridor through the country.