The railway expansion is part of the government's efforts to diversify the country's economy.
This was disclosed by Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who added that the expansion will help in the government's plan to diversify the country's economy.
The country's dependence on oil is one of the reasons why it is in its worst economic recession in decades after the collapse in the price and output of crude oil, which accounts for more than 90 percent of foreign income and two-thirds of government revenue.
To ease this dependence, President Muhammadu Buhari put an Economic Recovery and Growth Plan in place in March 2017 to boost agriculture and manufacturing in the country by developing its transport network and power infrastructure.
The key projects lined up to actualise the economic plan include building a second railway line connecting the nation's two biggest cities, Lagos and Kano, as well as the construction of a coastal railway that connects Lagos to the eastern city of Calabar.
The construction of both railways is expected to cost the government an estimated $20 billion to be funded largely by the Export - Import Bank of China, which has already released $5.9 billion.
According to Amaechi, the project, which is being carried out by China's Civil Engineering and Construction Co., will be completed by 2019.