About 70% of all intercity freight movements in Canada is shipped by rail. The highest modal share in the world. In Nigeria, it’s less than 1%.
50% of Canada’s exports are by rail. Nigeria has no rail connections with its neighbours.
Canada’s rail network is 49,422 km long with about 43,000km used for freight. Nigeria’s rail network is under 4,500km long built over nearly 100 years. Since independence 60 years ago, we have added a total of less than 2,000km to the network. That’s about 30km per annum and that includes the 879 km Maiduguri extension of 1964 which was initiated by the outgoing colonial govt. Meanwhile, China adds an average of 5,000km of HSR every year to its network.
In 2019, Canada moved more than 332m tons of freight by rail with a valuation of about $320m cad producing a unit rate of about 3.5c cad per ton per km. Nigeria moved a paltry 350,000 tons by rail out of a total freight traffic of 200m tons per annum. So our roads remain congested with truck induced traffic, road maintenance costs are high, green house gases emissions are high, road traffic accidents are high and the impact on productivity is high.
The US has a network of about 257,722 track km moving about 154bn tons per annum equivalent to 40% of its freight market.
So when we say CN is the most profitable railway operator in the world, it is no exaggeration … and Nigeria? Let’s get serious!