General Electric, GE has pulled out of a concession deal with the Nigerian government.

GE on Thursday handed the leadership of the consortium to South African company, Transnet.

But what has Nigeria lost?

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi who nursed the deal, is saying Nigeria has nothing to lose because the federal government was only negotiating and had not signed a railway concession agreement with General Electric.

In an interview on the ‘Morning Show’ of Arise TV Network, Amaechi said GE is 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. No concession agreement has been signed, none. We have been negotiating, there is no way you will get a concession agreement in one year.

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“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 the 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.

“I said I wasn’t going to award any contract because railway is too expensive. The total investment is supposed to be $2.7 billion, which is 1 trillion naira. No government can pull out N1 trillion to rehabilitate the entire narrow gauge,” Amaechi said.

The minister confirmed that South Africa’s Transnet SOC Limited will now take over from GE and a special purpose vehicle (SPV) would be set up to allow Transnet and other firms to do the job.

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