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‘Prospective investors to raise $2.7bn in railway concession’

The Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Engr. Fidet Okhiria, yesterday, said the proposed concession of the railway will be done in a transparent manner that will favour Nigeria and Nigerians.

He also disclosed that the proposed investments by the consortium of companies would raise over $2.7bn (more than one trillion naira) on the 3,400 kilometer narrow gauge.

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The withdrawal of General Electric (GE), the American multinational leading the consortium, has generated speculations over the fate of the concession.

There were insinuations that GE withdrew over sharp disagreement with the Federal Government on the terms of the concession.

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But the MD, while briefing workers during a quarterly meeting of management, yesterday, reiterated that GE only withdrew from transportation business.

Explaining that the concession is still on course, he assured members of staff that none of them would be retrenched in the process.

According to him, the concession would translate into more opportunities for them as the concessionaire is expected to build an assembly plant for railway and a training school for manpower development in the industry.

He said “through the agreement, we are expecting to see better rail services, an up and doing railway industry in Nigeria because they are expected to raise about $2.7 billion investment on the narrow gauge.

“We are still negotiating. There are rumours that GE withdrew. GE was part of the consortium. They were four and three were left behind.

“We are following the normal process and they have handed over the leadership to Transnet and as at today, we are still discussing with Transnet and we will ensure that we get results that would favour Nigeria and Nigerians and Transnet themselves”.

Okhiria said government would provide the enabling environment for the prospective investors to succeed.


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