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GE Consortium, FG In Talks To Finalise $45m Railway Concession Deal



General Electric (GE) Nigeria said its consortium are currently holding talks with the Federal Ministry of Transportation to finalise the $45 million interim phase agreement for the concession of narrow gauge rail lines from Lagos to Kano. Head of communications, GE Nigeria, Yewande Thorpe, made the declaration following insinuations that the agreement may have collapsed. In an emailed correspondence sent to LEADERSHIP yesterday, she said the deal is much alive, noting that once talks are concluded, Nigerians would see pragmatic actions on the side of the consortium. “The international consortium made up of Transnet, SinoHydro, APM Terminals and GE, is actively engaged in negotiations with the Federal Ministry of Transportation to finalise the terms of the agreement to proceed with the interim phase of the concession of Nigeria’s narrow gauge railway network between Lagos and Kano. “Once negotiations are completed, execution will commence. We remain committed to working with the federal government of Nigeria to revamp and revitalise the country’s rail system,” she said. Meanwhile, Minister of Transport, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi had on Monday during the inspection tour of ongoing construction of Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line said after signing of the contractual agreement with GE consortium that the job has been left to bureaucrats. “I would rather not comment on that,” said Amaechi.

It would be recalled that Amaechi has in April disclosed in Abuja that the total money to be invested in the project was $2.7 billion after the whole agreement was concluded. According to him, the interim phase include the rehabilitation of the rail lines, the management of the transportation and Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) participation in commercial activities. “We came to conclusion on the narrow gauge, the interim phase of the narrow gauge, to enable us begin the initial rehabilitation of the rail lines, so that we can commerce commercial activities. “Both in terms of cargoes, freight and transportation, we have signed the initial and temporary agreement. “We have also agreed on the main agreement which will cost $45 million for the interim phase and $2.7 billion for the entire project.” Amaechi said with the interim agreement, GE would commence commercial activities for both cargoes and passengers before October. He said that GE would be bringing in 10 coaches and 100 wagons, adding that additional 10 locomotives and coaches would be repaired.

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