On June 2, 2015, His Excellency Dr. Thomas Boni Yayi and Vincent Bolloré launched the rehabilitation works of the railway by laying tracks on the Pahou-Cotonou-Porto Novo section. 50 km long, this first section is part of the first phase of BENIRAIL concession agreements for the complete rehabilitation of the Cotonou-Parakou- Niamey route.
«”I welcome the assurances given by the President and of course all the Bolloré Group management […] on behalf of the people of Benin, I welcome this strategic partnership,” has stressed in an interview the Head of State Dr. Thomas Boni Yayi.
As for railway technicians, they have begun preparations to this end. The first rails symbolizing the actual start of construction are visible. The interest of this first phase, said Vincent Bolloré, is to open a passenger transport line between Cotonou and Pahou and also between Cotonou and Porto Novo. Improving mobility in Cotonou and its suburbs is fully aligned with the agenda of the proposed rail loop and will be a real breakthrough for thousands of Beninese who benefit from a new safe means of transport to reach the down town of Cotonou.
“We decided to start now the first 50 kilometers. We will do 30 kilometers from Cotonou to Porto Novo and twenty kilometers to reach Pahou, “said Vincent Bolloré, CEO of the Group.
In addition, the Bolloré Group intends to accelerate the project so that the connection between Benin and Niger is done promptly. “We already have 150 kilometers between Niamey and Dosso for an investment of 60 billion CFA francs. If this is not to join Cotonou, it has no interest to make a way in the desert, “he insists, recalling that this is an ambitious 2,700 kilometer front across five countries. »We will begin work between Dosso and Parakou so that the two teams meet up”, he concluded.
For the 50 kilometers of track to lay, the Bolloré Group is betting on completing the works by the end of the year in order to put into operation a long distance train.