Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, has addressed the pulling out of General Electric (GE) from the Nigerian railway concession project.
According to the Minister, the Nigerian government did not sign any agreement with GE on the planned $2.7 billion deal to concession and rehabilitate Nigeria’s narrow gauge railway.
Amaechi stressed that the American company was still negotiating with the Federal Government when it backed out of the deal.
While revealing that GE did not abandon the railway deal on account of Nigeria’s economy, Amaechi maintained that GE was no longer in the business of transportation and had to hand over its interest in the deal to another firm.
“General Electric did not pull out. One thing that thrives heavily in Nigeria is rumour, I don’t know where you got that information, no concession agreement has been signed, none. We have been negotiating, there is no way you will get a concession agreement in one year.” – Amaechi
Nairametrics had reported that GE pulled out of the Nigerian railway concession project and handing it over to Transnet SOC Limited. This, according to GE, is in line with its business strategy to exit the transportation business and focus on power and healthcare infrastructure.
Recall that GE won a contract last year to manage Nigeria’s narrow-gauge rail network in partnership with three other companies. The narrow-gauge concession was expected to grow freight haulage capacity in the country ten-fold to 500,000 metric tons annually.
During the signing of the agreement, a joint operation was also established between the Consortium and the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) with an initial supply of 10 locomotives and 200 wagons to augment the existing rolling stock in Nigeria.
General Electric is an American multinational conglomerate incorporated in New York and headquartered in Boston. The company has been operating in Nigeria for over 40 years, with businesses spanning a number of key sectors including aviation, power, oil and gas, healthcare.