FG, GE plan collaboration on railway lines

Posted by News Express | 25 January 2017 | 2,877 times

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The Federal Government and General Electric (GE) are in talks over the planned concession of railway projects in the country in line with the Public Private Partnership agreement of the government.

The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed this when the Global Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of General Electric (GE), Jeff Immelt, and his team paid him a courtesy visit in his office on Tuesday in Abuja.

“We are negotiating with GE to take over the narrow gauge from Lagos – Kano –Funtua – Yobe, and from Port Harcourt to Borno,” Amaechi said. He added that government is committed to providing Nigerians with a good railway system.

The Minister hinted that while the negotiations with GE are going on, the Federal Government is very much interested in how GE would revive the 25 locomotives it supplied to Nigeria during the late General Sani Abacha regime. He said he would like this to be done between now and when the concession agreement would be finalised. He emphasised that if the 25 locomotives are revived, it would help to reduce the volume of heavy duty trucks on the roads and consequently make the roads to last for longer time.

“What are trying to do now is to see how we can maintain them and put them back to use to increase the capacity of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) so that they can travel from Lagos to Port Harcourt and, to Maiduguri as early as they want without having to spend four to five days before getting to their destinations,” he said

The Minister also reiterated that the Federal Government has received approval from China EXIM Bank for the N72 billion counterparts funding for Lagos – Ibadan railway line project. He stated that China Government will contribute $1.5 billion for this project.

Also speaking, NRC Managing Director Fidet Okhira noted that the concession offer was advertised and that five companies have already indicated interest in the concesioning process and that GE is one of them.

•Photo by Israel Ibeleme shows Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi (L) with the Global Chairman and CEO, General Electric (GE), Mr. Jeff Immelt, during GE’s courtesy visit to the Minister at the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Abuja . . . January 24,  2017.

Source: News Express

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