Portuguese construction firm Mota-Engil has secured a contract to construct a railway line between Nigeria and Niger.

According to the budget approved by Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council last year, the cost of the project is expected to be around $2bn, reported Reuters.

The new railway line will connect the northern Nigerian city of Kano with Niger’s Maradi.

Nigerian Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi in a tweet wrote: “We signed the contract documents for the commencement of the Kano-Maradi, Kano-Dutse railway project.”

Amaechi added that Mota-Engil will also build a university as part of the agreement.

This corridor will run through Kano, Jigawa and Katsina in Nigeria and through Niger Republic’s Maradi.

The rail line will also cover other cities such as Danbatta, Kazaure, Daura, Mashi, Katsina and Jibiya in Nigeria.

The minister said that the 284km rail line will be integrated with road transport, which in turn will aid boost freight and passenger transport, reported Worldstagegroup.com.

The minister also stated that the project will be completed engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract in 36 months.

Nigeria aims to boost its economy by improving its transportation infrastructure.

Meanwhile, another separate project will also be executed to link Nigeria’s commercial hub Lagos and Kano.