The Federal government has signed an agreement for the construction of the Abuja- Itakpe rail that will link Abuja to Warri. The signing was done Thursday in Abuja when officials of the CRCCI visited the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi in his office.
Before signing the agreement, the Minister instructed the CCRC to localise both materials and engineers working on the project and reminded them of Nigeria’s need for them to assist us develop our technology in the rail sector.
“The signing ceremony that we had today is the first PPP railway agreement for Abuja- itakpe or Abuja- Baru-itakpe and lokoja and it is between Nigeria and CRCCI. The agreement is supposed to be 15% Nigeria equity and 10percent CRCCI equity and then we borrow 75 percent as SPV from the Chinese bank”.
“Part of the agreement is that CRCCI will provide us with a performance bond from their bank before we give a sovereign guarantee for then to be able to borrow the 75%”.
“And then, there is a concession agreement that CRCCI will manage both the railway and the seaport and recover the 75 percent and pay the money”.
“So, the entire railway for now in Nigeria is constructed 100 by CRCC. I think that the good working relationship we have had with CRCC is the reason we have not been able to engage other companies”.
Amaechi expressed displeasure at the delay in the completion of Ibadan dry seaport.
“I honestly don’t know why we have not concluded the Ibadan dry port, we need to conclude that and get it out of the way”.
“Nigeria is waiting for CRCC at Abuja to itakpe and warri seaport. Before the approval at the Federal Cabinet, CRCCI was pushing us with so much pressure to approve it, we approved it and they are not on site”.
“There is a need for CRCCI to go to site. If we raise our equity they will raise theirs together. But largely is that the funds will come from China”.
The Minister harped on the agreement to develop Nigeria’s capacity technology wise.
“There is a need to also instruct both CCECC and CRCCI to realise that we need to localise the Technology and we need local participation of both Nigerian engineers and contractors”.
“We need you to work with us to develop the knowledge of Nigerians, that’s why we emphasize on the universities we are asking you to build , we are expecting that not only will you build, you will provide us with lecturers until we can train our own lecturers”.
“Just like we are holding CCECC on issue of manufacturing at Kajola, for which we have awarded them the contract of about 500 million dollars to build for us rolling stock for Lagos-ibadan, we will also resume conversation with CRCCI on the issue of manufacturing of railway components .
He called for speedy completion of Lagos-Ibadan rail project
” Literally, all the railway activities in Nigeria is handled by your company, the Abuja-Kaduna that is completed was done by CCECC, the Lagos Ibadan that is nearing completion, I hope they will be able to complete it, we need them to complete it quickly and we have told them that by February legally by law by the contract would have expired legally, I hope you will complete before that time so that we commence commercial activities. The longest railway in Nigeria now apart from the narrow gauge is the Itakpe-Warri Railway, the German started it by Julius Berger they got close to completion and it was later abandoned. So some of them were vandalised and then we had to reaward it to CCECC to complete the vandalised areas and put some side ins for the railway”
Responding, the Vice president of CRCCI ,Wang Wenzhong, expressed his company’s appreciation for the support and pledged that they would make use of their resources to assist Nigeria develop.
“We pay lots of attention to the developement of Nigeria . we also make use of our best resources in Nigeria” .
“We are going to provide our resources to assist in the development of Nigeria “.
“We also demand our subsidiaries to work hard for Nigeria and also the people “.
“We appeal to you to provide your continuous support for the development of crcc here in Nigeria”.
Wenzhong expressed hope that the government would provide its counterpart funding on time.
“We have some mega projects like Ibadan railway which has taken a great importance in d development of Nigeria” .
“We also made a lot of efforts for the financing of Ibadan to kano project especially some financial institutions of China “.
“We hope the federal government will take this project as the most priority one and also provide some counter part funds so that when financing is settled , we are going to start project early next year “.
“We assure that crcc is going to take elaborate preparations and make sure the project is completed in time”.
“Another project is coastal rail. Crcc is also efforts to find different financial solutions to make sure that the project starts successfully”.
“Crcc is a friend of Nigeria and we will continue practicing the concept of stride with Nigeria and stir an industrial change and investment in Nigeria”.