FG to spend $2.7bn on railway concession

The federal government says it will spend about $2.7 billion for the concession of narrow gauge rail lines in the country.

Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, made this known on Monday in an interview with NAN in Abuja.

The federal government had earlier signed a $45 million interim phase agreement with General Electric (GE), the contractor for the project.

The interim phase includes 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 activities,” he said.

“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 $45 million for the interim phase and $2.7 billion for the entire project.”

Amaechi said with the interim agreement, GE would commence commercial activities for both cargoes and passengers before October.

He said that GE would be bringing in 10 coaches and 100 wagons, adding that additional 10 locomotives and coaches would be repaired.

The minister said GE intends to complete the whole interim process by January and move to the main phase.