Business Hilights
Tracking Nigeria's Headline Business News Online

US investors ready to takeover Lagos-PH-Calabar rail project from Chinese firm if…

Leading United States investment group majoring in rail development has signaled readiness to take over the construction of Lagos-Port Harcourt-Calabar speed rail project of the federal government from the appointed Chinese firm, China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), but on one condition.

The US team of investors led by the founder of Ameri Metro Inc., Shah Mathias, hosted by Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, observed that they decided to show interest in the rail projects after it was confirmed that the Chinese group that was initially billed to handle them would not be able to deliver on the projects as planned.

According to Mathias, “We are in the design process and our goal is to take this and build it. We are here to do the presentation for the high speed rail.

“Our goal is to build the rail system in order for other industries to come. We will like to commence the project as soon as we are given the opportunity, and we will invest 100 per cent of the project cost.

“We have been told that the project cost is over $10bn and we are ready to deliver new railway, new locomotives, everything will be new.”

He assured that given condusive environment and tidy arrangements, “Ameri would wish to commence with the Port Harcourt-Lagos-Calabar route because we are ready to take over the project from the Chinese firm”.

“We are looking at the Port Harcourt-Lagos-Calabar route first because we heard that the Chinese have not been able to raise the money. We are possibly going to raise the money and take it over from the Chinese.

Ameri Group ruled out chances of partnering with any Chinese company, saying “We are not partnering anybody at this point.

“We want to build the coastal rail for Nigeria and it is going to be high speed and not the standard gauge. We have the capacity and competence to do it. We have done it in the United States and we can do it here.”

Mathias described the response of the government to his company’s proposal as being “tentatively” prospective and hopeful after all.

The US team presentations were done at the conference room of the Minister of Transportation in Abuja.