China and Nigeria signed an official construction contract early Thursday, Beijing time, to build a railway along the African country's coast, China Railway Construction Corp. Ltd. (CRCC) said.
The 11.97 billion U.S. dollar contract is China's single largest overseas contract project, the CRCC said.
The coastal 22-stop railway, which will stretch for 1,402 kilometers, will link Nigeria's economic capital Lagos in the west with Calabar in the east.
Trains will travel at a top speed of 120 km per hour, according to the CRCC.
"It is a mutually beneficial project," said CRCC chairman Meng Fengchao, adding that the coastal railway project will adopt Chinese technological standards and result in equipment exports worth 4 billion dollars, such as construction machinery, trains and steel products.
"Meanwhile, the project will create up to 200,000 local jobs, directly or indirectly. Up to 30,000 fixed job posts may also be provided when the railway is operational," Meng said.
CRCC president Zhang Zongyan said that the company would undertake further studies on the targeted market in order to allow railway, a green and efficient transportation mode, to play a more significant role in Africa.