General Electric to invest over $2bn in Nigerian railway sector

The Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, on Wednesday, disclosed that General Electric (GE) plans to invest $2 billion into the Nigerian railway system.

The Minister stated this during an interview with CNBC in Abuja.

He noted that government was working to secure Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to help fund the country’s transport sector.

Amaechi also said the investment by GE will help create employment and boost the transport sector.

“GE is already in, we are trying to get the government agencies to allow us negotiate with GE. The company is going to bring in over $2billion in the Nigerian railway sector, in which they are going to revive the Lagos-Kano narrow gauge and revive the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri narrow gauge by private investment.

“It is good that such kind of funds will come into the economy, it will create employment, it will increase business and everybody will be part of the process.””

“The government does not need to bring all the funds. What government is doing here is to initiate it, there are two things we are doing there; we will start with the construction of Lagos-Kano and Lagos-Calabar.”

The Minister noted that government will take a loan from China to fund some of the projects.

“We are taking a loan from China EXIM bank, the loan is not partnership. But one of the requirements for which we will take the loan is that the contractor must come from China, that we have fulfilled by engaging CCECC.”

“We will be looking at about $3.5 billion and we should be able to employ as many people as possible to do that construction. Our plan is to ensure that CCECC is able to conclude it between two to three years.”

Speaking on the public private partnership, Amaechi said, “We are going to invite as many private investors as possible to see how they can assist the country achieved its rails projects.”

“If government takes the Lagos-Kano and takes the Lagos-Calabar, we expect the others to be PPP funding.”

“We believe that people know how big the Nigerian market is and that once you invest your money, the chances are that you will recoup that money, whether by freight or by passenger transportation.”

The Minister further stated that the country had saved $800 million through negotiations that cut down the contracts.

“Basically, the contract from Lagos to Calabar was awarded initially at $11.97 billion, we had to negotiate that one and that was why we couldn’t submit it the same time we submitted the Lagos-Kano.”

“We negotiated that one from $11.97 billion to $11.17 billion, saving the country $800million.”

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