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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 April, 2004, 10:33 GMT 11:33 UK
Black cabs for Nigeria's streets
Black cab
Black cabs are a part of the London landscape
London's famous black taxis may soon be a familiar sight on the streets of Nigeria's capital, Abuja.

Nigeria's government says the first 100 taxis should be in the country soon. A total of 4,000 will be in use by the time the plan is completed.

The minister responsible for Abuja said the cabs would be practical and help give the city character.

"As you know, Nigerians carry lots of luggage, and London cabs have that capacity," Malam Nasir el Rufai said.

"The London cabs are probably the best designed taxis in the world and they last on average between 17 and 20 years," he told the BBC's Network Africa programme.

The minister said they also planned to revamp the bus and rail network - but these changes would take longer.

When asked about how the taxis would cope with the poorly maintained road network in Nigeria, he said that roads in Abuja were in good condition and a major programme was in place to improve the roads to outlying areas.

More than 100,000 black cabs have been made in the West Midlands since production began just after World War II.

They are currently exported to more than 25 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South-East Asia.

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