In what may look like a stage fight with the Chinese group, CCECC, facts are rife that United States Industrial giant, General Electric has confirmed its “keen interest” in acquiring a Nigeria railway concession project worth around $2 billion.
President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier this month said that GE would be investing $2.2 billion in a concession to revamp, provide rolling stock, and manage some of the country’s railways.
GE said in a statement that “Given the size and scope of the proposed project, it is likely that the debt and equity commitments required from lenders, consortium partners and other co-developers will be in the range of $2 billion or more,” stressing that the concession was in the formal procurement process.
The US group also noted that the railway concession project came on top of around $150 million the firm was currently spending on capital expenditures in Nigeria as cited by a senior company executive last week.
It would be recalled that Nigeria has been looking for partners to overhaul its aging railway system, which was mainly built by British colonial rulers before the country’s independence in 1960.
The West African nation has also signed two deals worth around $5 billion with China Civil Engineering Construction Corp (CCECC), part of China’s state-owned railway construction firm, to modernize and build railways in the north and south of the country, the Nigerian transport ministry said last month.