The Senate has began the probe of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi
Amaechi over the concession of western (Lagos-Kano) and Eastern (Port
Harcourt – Maiduguri) rail lines to General Electric company, based in the
United States (US) .
The probe was sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Senator
Albert Akpan (PDP, Akwa-Ibom Northeast) on the concession of rail lines
with a potential of $2billion.
Akpan told the Senate that the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), and the
Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility (NAIF) upon the approval of the
National Council on Privatization (NPC) in April 2015, developed a roadmap
for the concessioning of the rail lines.
He said the BPE has already engaged the Global Infrastructure Facility
(GIF) and the World Bank in discussions on accessing funding for
transactions Advisers while the Ministry of Transport has formally
appointed Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and Greenwich as financial
Advisers for the same purpose.
He said in August, this year, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo
inaugurated the steering and Technical committee in line with the
provision of section 11(k) of the Public Enterprises (Privatisation and
Commercialisation) Act 1999 to fast track the process of the concession of
the rail lines.
He quoted Amaechi as saying in June that the General Electric has already
been engaged for the project.
” It is the responsibility of the steering and technical committees of the
NPC inaugurated by the Vice president in August 2016 to negotiate with
potential bidders for this concession, how then did the Ministry of
Transport engage General Electric Company as far back as June, 2016, “he
He said the Ministry of Transport has violated the provisions of the
Public Enterprises (Privatization and Commercialization) Act, 1999 by
unilaterally engaging the General Electric (GE) for the concession.
The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who presided over the plenary
mandated the Senate Committees on Privatization, Land Transport, Finance,
Special Duties, Trade and Investment, Judiciary and Anti-Corruption and
Financial Crimes to investigate the procedure adopted in the engagement of
General Electric for the concession.