A General Electric (GE) led consortium has signed an interim phase agreement with the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) for the Nigerian narrow-gauge railway concession.
The consortium is comprised of SinoHydro, Transnet, and APM Terminals. In the interim phase of the railway concession, remedial works will be carried out on part of the narrow-gauge rail line system to make it technically and economically operable.
Additionally, a joint operation will be 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.
This programme is expected to deliver an increase in the number of available locomotives, thus increasing the frequency of passenger and freight rail services. In addition, freight haulage capacity by the end of the first 12 months of the interim phase is expected to increase roughly ten-fold, from its current less than 50,000 metric tonnes per annum to about 500,000 metric tonnes per annum.
Following the commencement of the interim phase, the consortium will conclude negotiations with FGN on the terms of the substantive phase of the concession agreement that will expand service to up to 200 locomotives and associated rolling stock.
This will see to the comprehensive rehabilitation of Nigeria’s narrow-gauge rail infrastructure and the return of rail transport as a key element in enabling the country’s socio-economic development.