General Electric to Invest $2b on Nigerian Rails
There are indications that a consortium led by General Electric (GE) has submitted the only bid for a Nigerian railway concession project worth around $2 billion for two lines connecting northern cities to others in the south, a procurement process adviser said on Wednesday.
The Ministry of Transportation gave Wednesday as the deadline for the submission of bids from prospective concessionaires.
Nigeria has been looking for partners to overhaul its ageing railway system, built mainly by the British colonial rulers before independence in 1960.
Economic growth in Africa’s most populous nation has been hampered for decades by the dilapidated road and rail network.
The concession will cover about 3,500 km (2,200 miles) of existing narrow-gauge lines from the southwestern commercial capital, Lagos, to Kano in the north, and southeastern oil hub, Port Harcourt, to Maiduguri in the North-east.
“We received one bid today,” said Fola Fagbule, vice-president and co-head of advisory at Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) which ran a procurement process after being appointed lead adviser by the government.
According to Reuters, the only bid, led by GE, was in partnership with Transnet of South Africa, Dutch-based APM Terminals and China’s Sinohydro Consortium.
The Senate said in November it would investigate the railway concession over possible violations by government officials.