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The first phase of Nigeria's 21km Enugu monorail will cost $US246 million, Canada-based Globim Corporation (GC - the consultant) has announced. This figure would cover building of the infrastructure and acquisition of sufficient trains to ensure viable operations. GC chairman Dr Jude Igwemezie said the first phase of the project, to be completed in three years, would have six lines. These are to run from Gariki through Agbani Road, Coal Camp, UNTH Road, Ogbete Market, Zik's Avenue, back to Agbani Road and looping on the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway. Trains are to have a minimum of four coaches and six lines with a total capacity of 500 passengers at a speed of 80km/h. 'This will be the lowest cost of any monorail of similar size and capacity ever built anywhere. In all, the 117km equivalent single line monorail system in Enugu will cost approximately $1.5 billion. The monorail, which will be electrically powered on a straddle beam, will not depend on Nigeria's epileptic power supply, as diesel generators strategically located on the lines will power the trains,'' Igwemezie said. The project is to be 100% financed by Globim Corporation, which undertakes to deliver the 'best, safest and most conducive' intra-city transport system. According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), there will be no cost to the state government. Globim will deliver over a concession period of 30 years from the initial opening and operation of the lines. State commissioner for transport John Egbo says the government is satisfied with the expertise of Globim in rail engineering: 'They have more than 150 years' experience in financing, manufacturing, building and managing profitable rail systems in America. Globim intends to utilise its new TGM-01 trainset, designed to provide a combined seating and standing capacity of 550 passengers.' The trains will be air-conditioned, and passengers will be able to move from one coach to another. Each train is to be equipped with remote control, and there will be 'anti-collision devices to ensure that no two trains collide'. To ensure passengers' safety, each coach will be equipped with an emergency evacuation system 'should the need arise'. More than 500 jobs are to be created in the first phase of construction, and 200 permanent jobs would be 'guaranteed' during the first phase of the operations. 'When all the phases are completed, more than 1,500 permanent jobs will be created. The jobs will translate into future economic impact of three to five times the number of people permanently employed,'' Egbo said.
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