The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) delivers world-class geospatial intelligence that provides a decisive advantage to policymakers, warfighters, intelligence professionals and first responders. NGA is the lead federal agency for GEOINT and manages a global consortium of more than 400 commercial and government relationships.
Unveiled by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative is currently the world's most ambitious economic development program. Rooted in Beijing's desire to become a leader in global development, BRI aspires to promote economic development through infrastructure investment in over 68 countries whose economies constitute a combined 40 percent of global GDP. Among these participants, Nigeria has undertaken significant investment in the modernization of its railway network system. The central theme of the Capstone project is to determine whether new BRI investment in Nigeria railway network brings positive impacts to the local economy and solves a congestion issue in Lagos, the country's biggest port city.
The two case studies consisted of a literature review of Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Railway and Lagos ports supported by satellite imagery, a unique tool to complement traditional research tools. The team also interviewed experts from the World Bank, U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, International Monetary Fund, China Africa Research Initiative to confirm findings from both country studies and images.
The team found that despite anticipated positive impacts to the Nigerian economy, the Lagos-Ibadan railway has failed to generate positive economic spillover. The line is poorly connected to existing industrial facilities, and there is a lack of blueprints for new industrial parks along the line. Also, while a new rail extension to Apapa port in Lagos aims to connect Nigeria's hinterland to global markets to diversify its economy, the existing Apapa terminal fails to address critical port congestion around Tin Can Island Port Complex; and short of extending the railway freight extension to support the diversified export infrastructure at Tin Can Island undermines optimism about upstream diversification and economic development.
To produce a positive economic outcome, the team recommends Nigeria pursue additional infrastructure/logistic investment along the Lagos-Ibadan line and to ensure to complete last-mile connectivity to the Lagos ports.