The Federal Government has commenced negotiation with General Electric on the concessioning of the narrow gauge lines across the country.
Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi said the agreement would be signed before January 2017.
Amaechi said: “We are negotiating to concession the old narrow gauge lines from Lagos-Kano, Funtua-Kaduna, Port Harcourt-Aba, Umuahia-Enugu, Makurdi-Jos, Bauchi-Gombe to Borno.
“The entire western and eastern lines will be rehabilitated but we will concession the project to GE and they are bringing in two billion dollars to embark on the project.
“If we concession the lines to them and they run it with their money, then you can be rest assured that movement of goods will continue but at a slower speed.”
The minister said that the concessioning would be for a period of 20 to 25 years, stressing that GE would run it after reviving the lines and provide coaches on all the revived lines.
He explained that the first segment of the Lagos-Kano Rail Line project to be completed would be Lagos-Ibadan for economic reasons and to decongest Lagos.
The Minister explained that the 1.56 kms double gauge Lagos-Ibadan rail line will be completed in 36 months adding that by early 2017, the Kano-Kaduna rail line project will commence.