The Nigerian Railway Cooperation (NRC) has explained that General Electric (GE) withdrew from the $2.7 billion railway concession deal because it has stopped the transportation section of its business.
NRC explained that the withdrawal was not due to harsh economy policies in Nigeria as being speculated.
Managing director, NRC, Mr Fidet Okhiria, told NAN in Lagos that Nigerian government fulfilled its part on the concession and noted that GE pulling out was the company’s decision.
“The issue of concession, the funds required was about 2.7 billion dollars and the government did their aspect while the GE came up that they are ready to go into concession.
“Which we said okay because we have the system in place, we advertised and other companies’ bidder and about four companies came up top and GE was considered the best and they were given.
“But during the process of discussion, things happened that GE from their own side withdrew from transportation business, so is not that there was any issue.
“They generally stop the transportation section of the company,’’ he explained.
Okhiria, however, assured that GE’s withdrawal would not stop the concession, as the other three companies had met and Transnet South Africa had been selected to takeover.
He further said that Transnet was studying the processes and would get back to the government.
Okhiria said that NRC needs more rolling stock that was why they wanted more partners to join in the concession to improve on the rolling stock.
The federal government on May 24, 2017, entered into agreement with General Electric for the narrow gauge railway concession in Nigeria.
GE was to invest $700 dollars’ worth of investment on infrastructure with $2 billion on operation and maintenance.