Development of railway transportation infrastructure in Nigeria

The efficiency of the railway in the mass movement of people and goods over long distances by land is the major advantage of this mode of transport.

 Rail transport is cheap, energy saving and environmentally friendly. The railway provides a significant stimulus for socio-economic growth and development.

For these reasons, railway is recommended for countries with large expense of land, people and resources such as Nigeria.

The railway cut into the interior of Nigeria and for the first time, provided direct access by a modern means of transportation from the coast to other parts of the country.

The railway network was constructed in Nigeria in order to enable it to evacuate minerals and agricultural raw materials and forest resources from the Interior parts of the country and also to enable the selling of imported manufactured goods in these interior locations.

It was used for linking up the different regions of the country and thus for promoting inter-regional trade as well as increasing industrial and economic development.

After the initial construction of the railway network in Nigeria, there has not been any major modification or extensions of this backbone. The network connects the major seaports of Lagos and Port-Harcourt with the major urban centers in the country.

The Impact of railway to Nigerian Economy

In spite of the deficiencies of the Nigerian railway system, it contributed a lot to the general economic development of Nigeria during the colonial and early independence period by making possible the development of all parts of the country for agricultural exports, specifically cocoa in the west, groundnuts and cotton in the north and palm produce in the southeast.

 It facilitated the evacuation of minerals for export from the interior parts of the country (such as coal from Enugu and tin from Jos).

It encouraged the development of long-distance inter-regional trade in various products within.

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