Transport infrastructure wins are one of the most polarising achievements of President Buhari’s administration.
Despite boasting millions of dollars spent on several projects, from roads to bridges and rail lines, people can’t seem to make up their minds about this administration’s impact on transportation. On the one hand, some are elated with the pace of infrastructure, while others claim that the benefits of our transport investment are hard to see.
But let’s focus on rail transportation. President Buhari’s recently released achievement fact sheet states that rail infrastructure has grown by at least 677 kilometres between 2016 and 2021. We’ve all seen the completion of the Itakpe-Warri standard gauge rail line after almost 30 years of its commencement. We also witnessed the completion of a new standard gauge railway between Ibadan and Lagos, including its extension to the Apapa Port. There’s also the completion of the Abuja-Kaduna railway line and the many ongoing railway projects throughout the country.
In past articles, we've lauded these projects and acknowledged the benefits of trains, including expanding local industries from agriculture to manufacturing, reducing travel time and fares, and improving government revenue. However, quantifying the benefits of rail and other infrastructure investments is challenging.