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GE now pumping $2.7bn on rail infrastructure, maintenance—Minister

The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, over the weekend, revealed that General Electric (GE) is currently investing $2.7 billion dollars on infrastructure, Operation and Maintenance (O and M) of the entire narrow gauge lines concession in Nigeria.

Giving the details of the investments while presenting account of his stewardship in the last two years in Lagos, the minister said whereas the foreign company is investing 700 million dollars on infrastructure, the remaining $2bn is spread across operations and maintenance.

He, however, said that the ministry concluded a new deal with GE on interim trade penultimate Monday so that they can commence work in December.

With the interim trade, Amaechi continued, Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) would still be on the platform until proper negotiation and agreement were concluded by April 2018 when GE would fully take over.

He noted further that “We are already in conversation with GE, we are negotiating with them, by Monday we will conclude agreement on the interim trade, which means that they will start working and functioning from this December.

“But NRC will still be on the platform, till we conclude the proper negotiation agreement, which will likely be within March and April 2018.

“Then NRC will be out, it will be fully managed by GE. They will work on the infrastructure, which is about 700 million dollars worth of investment on infrastructure.

“Two billion dollars for O and M, so their investment is about 2.7 billion dollars for the entire project,” he said.

The minister was however quick to add that the narrow gauge rail lines would be managed for the period of 20 to 30 years.