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GE Didn’t Pull Out Of $2.7Bn Railway Concession Deal – FG

The Federal Government  on Thursday explained that  General Electric (GE), did not pull out of a planned $2.7 billion deal to concession and rehabilitate Nigeria’s narrow gauge railway as there was no agreement signed with the  American company on the deal.

The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, who made the clarification an interview on the ‘The Morning Show’ of ARISE News, said that there was no concession agreement signed with it or any of the companies as government was still negotiating with all of them. that expressed interest in the concession arrangement.

Amaechi debunked insinuations by some commentators that GE abandoned the multi-billion dollar railway deal on account of  alleged Nigeria’s inclement investment climate.

He clarified: “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.

“What happened is that most of their business activities, they have dropped a lot of (them), I don’t know if it includes energy, transportation and all that. When they found out that they couldn’t continue in that line of business, because they were no longer in transportation business, the next company took over the lease, they didn’t pull out, it has nothing to do with our economy, they were excited about this thing”, the minister stressed.

Amaechi explained further  that GE told him that they had for 11 years approached different governments of Nigeria to do the railway concession but weren’t successful because previous governments wanted to award contracts for the railway while the present administration preferred the concession model.

The minister disclosed that following the American company’s pull out from the deal,  a South African company, Transnet SOC Limited, which engages in  pipeline, port, and  rail construction  business would now take over.

According to him, to ensure the successful kick off of the concession arrangement, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will be set up with Transnet and other entities to implement the job.

 

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