||Nigeria : Nigeria signs railway modernisation deal with international consortium
||Federal government and an international consortium signed an agreement to proceed with the interim phase of a concession to upgrade the 1067mm gauge rail network.
GE led consortium includes Chinese construction company SinoHydro, South African transport and logistics operator Transnet and port and intermodal operator APM Terminals.
The scope of the interim phase would cover infrastructure rehabilitation works along with the supply of an initial 10 locomotives and 200 wagons to augment Nigeria Railway Corps existing fleet. In addition to raising freight haulage capacity within 12 months from less than 50 000 tonnes/year to about 500 000 tonnes/year, this move would also support an increase in the frequency of passenger services.
Further, the consortium would negotiate terms for the substantive phase of the concession, once the interim phase is underway.
According to Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, this milestone project was an unprecedented commitment by the government. Infrastructure modernisation would add immense value to Nigerias long term economic growth and productivity.
Amaechi added, this would prove to be an important catalyst for small and medium enterprises and a key provider of almost incalculable socio-economic benefits for the many Nigerian towns and villages through which the rail network passes.
Lazarus Angbazo, CEO, GE Nigeria, said, GE remains committed to the sustainable development of Nigeria and as such we are delighted to have reached this crucial stage of the project to revamp and revitalise the countrys legacy rail infrastructure system.
The consortium looks forward to commencing execution of this interim phase with the continued support of the federal government and the Ministry of Transportation. As operations begin, our strong partners, such as Transnet and SinoHydro, will bring their strong operating and development skills to the forefront.
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