Nigeria is moving towards standard gauge rail (SGR) and will run a trial in May 2016. The arrival of five coaches will commence the running of Abuja-Kaduna SGR, according to the Nigerian Railway Corporation.
The Lagos-Kano SGR has been on the drawing board for a while. In 2006, the Nigerian government awarded a $8.3 billion contract to the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, but funding delayed the project and the Nigerian government decided to build the Lagos-Kano SGR in segments.
East Africa is facing the same difficulties with several gauges in use. In Kenya, the first phase of the Nairobi-Mombasa segment started in November 2013 and is scheduled for completion in July 2017. SGR can transform transport in Africa, accelerate regional integration and strengthen cross-border economic ties.