The Federal Government on Wednesday announced that General Electric, a global conglomerate emerged the preferred bidder for the narrow gauge railway concession in Nigeria as announced by The Federal Government on Wednesday 24th May, 2017.
The letter of award was handed over to GE at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Transportation in Abuja noting that the ceremony marked the formal concession of the narrow gauge rail facilities to the firm. This includes a trunk that runs from Lagos through Ogun, Oyo, Kwara, Niger, Kaduna terminating at Kano, and another trunk from Port Harcourt in Rivers State through Abia, Enugu, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Bauchi and Gombe states, terminating in Maiduguri.
At the award ceremony, FG stated that the concession would see GE invest in excess of $2.2bn in the narrow gauge rail system that would crisscross almost the entire country.
Officials of the ministry stated that before the end of this year, GE would introduce 20 locomotives and about 200 coaches to move freight and passengers, adding that more investments would follow. This is good news to the supply chain industry as more channels are opening up for logistics activities.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr. Sabiu Zakari, handed over the letter of award to the President and Chief Executive Officer, GE, Mrs. Jamie Miller.
Miller while expressing pleasure for emerging as the preferred bidder said
“GE and its partners will work with the Federal Government to work through a concession process that will bring the railway operations alive. GE will bring both project management and deep knowledge of the industry, and how to make projects like this in a successful way”.
In his response, Zakari told journalists that The Federal Executive Council has approved the outline business case for the concession of the narrow gauge rail lines across the country. He further said that an interim arrangement with
GE is underway that will enable the latter provide locomotives and wagons, as well as the renovation of the narrow gauge lines, which will now enable usage.”
He added, “GE will bring many coaches, which will help in freight and passenger movement, and this will ginger the economy. Our total agreement is about 100 wagons in the interim and 20 locomotives.
“They will make investments in terms of renovation and reactivation of wagons, coaches and the rail tracks, together with the signaling and railway stations. This will make the narrow gauge comfortable to use across the country and GE will recoup its investments over time.”