This is not good news for the Nigerian government and the entire transport industry.

Minister of Transport, Chibuike Amaechi had invested so much efforts and resources to making this deal come through but it didn’t. Sadly!

So, American engineering conglomerate, General Electric Co, GE has pulled out of a long-term concession deal it had with the Nigerian government to maintain and operate narrow-gauge rail lines in Nigeria.

There had been indications to this effect due to a change of investment policy by GE, but confirmation only came on Wednesday by a procurement process adviser who spoke to Reuters.

The Nigerian railway concession project was worth around $2 billion for two lines connecting northern cities to others in the south.

The government had been due to enter into negotiations last year with GE over a railway project, although Senate had said it would probe the railway concession over possible violations by Nigerian officials.

Also Read: Why Amaechi Is Unhappy With Level Of Work On Lagos-Ibadan Railway

Meanwhile, it is not officially clear why GE pulled out of the concession, as the company had not released any official statement to that effect.

A consortium led by GE had submitted the only bid for the project in partnership with Transnet of South Africa, Dutch-based APM Terminals and China’s Sinohydro Consortium.

Fola Fagbule, senior vice president and head of advisory at Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), which ran the procurement process after being appointed lead adviser by the government, said Transnet was in discussion to replace GE.

The concession was meant to cover about 3,500 km (2,200 miles) of existing narrow-gauge lines from the Lagos to Kano in the north and from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri in the northeast.

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