General Electric (GE) says it is pulling out of the Nigerian railway concession project and handing it over to Transnet SOC Limited. This according to GE is in line with its business strategy to exit transportation business and focus on power and healthcare infrastructure.
Recall that GE won a contract last year to manage Nigeria’s narrow-gauge rail network in partnership with three other companies. The narrow-gauge concession is expected to grow freight haulage capacity in the country ten-fold to 500,000 metric tons annually. During the signing of the agreement, a joint operation was also 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.
According to GE, Transnet has been a trusted partner of GE for several decades.
“We have confidence in their ability and that of the other consortium members (SinoHydro of China, APM Terminals) to execute on the rail concession project successfully.”
Nigeria is opening up its rail system to private investors following decades of government control as authorities seek to boost infrastructure in the country that vies with South Africa as Africa’s biggest economy.
General Electric has been operating in Nigeria for over 40 years, with businesses spanning a number of key sectors including aviation, power, oil and gas, healthcare.
Transnet SOC Ltd is an integrated freight transport company which provides freight transport and handling services in South Africa. It operates through five divisions: Freight Rail, Engineering, National Ports Authority, Port Terminals, and Pipelines.