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FG, GE sign $45m interim agreement on rail concession, says transportation Minister

Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi

The Federal Government has signed a $45million
interim phase agreement with General Electric (GE) for the concession of narrow
gauge rail lines in the country.

The Minister of
Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi disclosed this on Monday in Abuja, putting
the total money to be invested in the project as N2.7billion, after the whole
agreement was concluded.

The interim phase he further explained, include the
rehabilitation of the rail lines, the management of the transportation and
Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) participation in commercial activities.

“We came to conclusion on the narrow gauge, the
interim phase of the narrow gauge, to enable us begin the initial
rehabilitation of the rail lines, so that we can commerce commercial
“Both in terms of cargoes, freight and
transportation, we have signed the initial and temporary agreement.
“We have also agreed on the main agreement which
will cost $45million for the interim phase and $2.7billion for the entire
Amaechi said with the interim agreement, GE would
commence commercial activities for both cargoes and passengers before October,
and would especially bring in 10 coaches and 100 wagons, in addition to 10
locomotives and coaches which would be repaired also.
He, however, said that by January GE intends to
complete the whole interim process and move to the main phase.
Commenting on the issue of alleged racketeering at
the Abuja-Kaduna rail line, the Minister said that he would investigate the
matter, stating that he would be surprised if it was on.
“I will investigate the matter because I will be
surprised. We have provided additional coaches to increase the time they run,
so I will be surprised, allow me investigate the issue,” he said.

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