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   Information Center Nigeria
Nigeria General Information
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Nigeria Transportations


The main waterways are the Niger and Benue rivers and a system of navigable creeks and lagoons in the southern part of the country. The Niger is navigable to Onitsha by large riverboat and to Lokoja by barge throughout the year. Ports farther upstream on the Niger and Benue can be reached in the high-water season.

Inland waterways total about 8,600 km in 2008. Lagos remains Nigeria's principal port, handling more than 75% of the country's general cargo. Other ports are Port Harcourt, Calabar, and the delta port complex of Warri, Sapele, Koko, Burutu, Bonny and Alesa Eleme. The Merchant Marine operated a fleet of 68 ships in 2008. A 1987 decree requires 40% of total cargo generated by trade with Nigeria to be carried on Nigerian shipping.

The Nigerian railway system, operated by the statutory Nigerian Railway Corporation, consists of 3,505 km of single track in 2006, and is the 5th largest in Africa. The greater part of the system consists of two generally north-south lines, originating in Lagos and Port Harcourt. The western line runs northeast from Lagos through Ibadan, Ilorin, and Kaduna to Kano; the eastern line runs from Port Harcourt through Enugu and Makurdi, and joins the western line at Kaduna. Extensions carry the former north to Nguru and the latter north to Kaura-Namoda. Three branch lines connect other industrial and commercial centres to the main system. A 645-km extension of the Port Harcourt line from Kafanchan to Maiduguri, linking the main system with the northeastern corner of the country, was completed in 1964. Years of neglect have seriously reduced the capacity and utility of the railway system; a project to restore it was underway in 1999.

In 2004, Nigeria had an estimated 193,200 km of roads, of which 28,980 km were paved. In 2000, some 694,600 vehicles were registered, including 501,300 passenger cars and 193,300 commercial vehicles.

Air traffic has been growing steadily. In 2007, there were an estimated 70 airports, 36 of which had paved runways. International service is provided from Lagos (Murtala Muhammed), Port Harcourt and Kano airports by more than two dozen international airlines; a new cargo-oriented international airport in Abuja was operational in 1987. Nigeria Airways, which operates internal Nigerian services and participates in international services, became a wholly Nigerianowned company in 1961. Its regularly scheduled flights link Lagos and 15 of the 19 state capitals. Nigeria Airways also flies to many West African destinations, to Nairobi (Kenya), and Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), and to New York, London, Amsterdam and Rome. In 2001, 529,400 domestic and international passengers were carried on scheduled flights.

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