How true is the claim that the Lagos-Kano railway project costs $2.6bn?

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Summary

An X user, @IamThatNaijaGuy, has claimed that the Lagos – Kano railway cost $2.6billion in Nigeria.

OUR VERDICT: The claim that the Lagos – Kano railway project cost $2.6 billion in Nigeria is FALSE; while a sum of $7.5 billion loan was approved for the standard gauge project, the then minister noted that it cost more.

An X user, @IamThatNaijaGuy, has claimed that the Lagos – Kano railway cost $2.6billion in Nigeria.

He made the claim in a social media post in comparison with a railway project in China which is claimed to be the fastest train in the world.

The claim was posted alongside two footages – one being that of the alleged Chinese railway project and the other representing the Nigerian railway project.

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The first video which is about 126 seconds showcases an electromagnetic train in China which is claimed to be the fastest in the world and built for $1 billion dollars.

Included in this video is a cutaway footage of US President Joe Biden commenting on the Chinese rail.

Part of the audio transcription of the footage goes thus:

This is the fastest train in the world, before I always thought the fastest train was in Japan but after some research I discovered that the Maglev train in Shanghai is in fact the world’s fastest train.

Joe Biden speaking: Realize the Chinese are now building another high speed rail line will go up to 300 miles per hour saving tens of millions of barrels of oil, cleaning up the air, is’nt that hyperbole, it’s a fact.

Yeah, you heard that right, President Biden is on point. welcome aboard the Shanghai Maglev, the road runner of trains. Forget what you knew about speed, this technological masterpiece is here to redefine the notion of fast costing a jaw dropping sum of $ 1 billion, the Shanghai Maglev is not just a train, it’s a bullet slicing through the air, at a mind boggling maximum test speed of over 1000 km per hour.  Hold on to your hats, because when it comes to operational speed, this train zooms at a breathtaking 431 km per hour and 268 miles per hour earning itself the title of the world’s fastest ground transportation in the Guinness world records…

The second video which is about 128 seconds also showcasing an operational rail line in a part of Nigeria. A voice could be heard in the background saying: 2LL rail exiting Minna now, 15:51 hours, while murmurs of ‘safe journey’ could also be heard in the background. The video captured all the rail coaches till the last coach.

Both footages were posted with a single caption that read:

Frame 1: $1 billion railway project in China dubbed the as the fastest train in the world Frame 2: $2.6 billion Lagos-Kano railway project in Nigeria.

The post has garnered over 200,000 views with over 1,000 likes, more than 700 reposts and over 160 comments as of May 20, 2024.

 

CLAIM 1

The Shanghai Maglev train costs $1 billion and it is the fastest train in the world.

THE FINDINGS

Findings by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is MOSTLY TRUE!

Checks revealed that the Shanghai Malgev train is truly the world’s fastest train. It was launched in 2003 at over $1 billion dollars and owned by the Shanghai Maglev Transportation Development. It was constructed by the duo of Siemens and a German multinational company, ThyssenKrupp.

The Shanghai Maglev, also known as the Shanghai Transrapid, operates at a maximum  speed of 460km/h and average speed of 251km/h. The service runs on the 30.5km Shanghai Maglev Line and isn’t a conventional high-speed model. It utilizes electromagnetic force to levitate above the track, eliminating friction and allowing for incredibly smooth and quiet travel.

These features earned it the fastest Maglev train in regular public service in the Guinness World Records (GWR) in 2003.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that the Maglev high-speed train cost $1.4 billion, whereas another article by Trip.com reported that the construction cost $1.2 billion.

THE VERDICT

The claim that the Shanghai Maglev train costs $1 billion and it is the fastest train in the world is MOSTLY TRUE; the Maglev train was named the fastest train in regular public service by the Guinness World Record in 2003 and it costs over $1 billion.

 

CLAIM 2

The Lagos – Kano railway project costs $2.6 billion in Nigeria.

THE FINDINGS 

Findings by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE.

Further checks revealed that the second footage was taken at the re-opening of the narrow gauge Lagos – Kano rail line in January 2024 as seen in another version of the video uploaded by the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) on YouTube.

Screenshot of the claim retrieved from X. INSERT: False verdict.
Screenshot of the claim as retrieved from X. INSERT: False verdict.

The train was leaving Minna on a test run as reported in the video after being nonoperational for two years due to ongoing repairs, media reports stated.

In 2006, CCECC was given the $8.3 billion contract for the Lagos-Kano train. However, the project could not be carried out because of financial difficulties.

In 2017, Premium Times and other media houses reported that the Nigerian government secured $7.5 billion loan from a Chinese bank for the construction of the standard rail gauge from Lagos to Kano.

The then Nigerian minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi ,noted that $1.4 billion of the loan was for the construction of the rail gauge from Lagos to Ibadan, while $6. 1 billion would be used on Ibadan–Ilorin–Minna-Kaduna– Kano line.

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In November 2018, the minister noted that the standard gauge rail line would cost a sum of $11 billion adding that the Nigerian government is rehabilitating the narrow gauge rail lines to enable the trains shuttle between the south and the northern part of the country pending the completion of the standard gauge.

THE VERDICT

The claim that the Lagos – Kano railway project cost $2.6 billion in Nigeria is FALSE; while a sum of $7.5 billion loan was approved for the standard gauge project, the then minister noted that it cost more.

Fact-checker at The FactheckHub | [email protected] | + posts

Seasoned fact-checker and researcher Fatimah Quadri has written numerous fact-checks, explainers, and media literacy pieces for The FactCheckHub in an effort to combat information disorder. She can be reached at sunmibola_q on X or [email protected].

SOURCE: @IamThatNaijaGuy via X.

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