FG, Chinese firm sign $3.9bn Abuja-Itakpe rail, Warri Port contracts

Rotimi Amaechi
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi. PHOTO CREDIT: SHIPS & PORTS archive


The Federal Government of Nigeria has entered into a Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement with China Railway Construction Corporation Limited (CRCC) to build a new standard railway track from Abuja to Itakpe. The contract also covers the construction of the Warri seaport.

Under the terms of the contract, the Federal Government will take 15 percent equity in the project while the CRCC will take 10 percent equity. The remaining 75 percent will be sourced from Chinese Banks to execute the project.

The CRCC will operate both the rail and the seaport, recover the money, pay back the debt and hand over the facility to Nigeria under the PPP that would last for 30 years.

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, gave these details shortly after he signed the agreement with CRCC.

“The signing ceremony that we had today is the first PPP railway agreement for Abuja – Itakpe or Abuja – Baru-Iakpe and Lokoja and it is between Nigeria and CRCC.

“The agreement is 15% Nigeria equity and 10 percent CRCC equity and then we borrow 75 percent as SPV from the Chinese bank,” he explained.

Amaechi, who told CRCC to resume at the site immediately, also explained that a “part of the agreement is that CRCC will provide us with a performance bond from their bank before we give a sovereign guarantee for them to be able to borrow the 75 percent.”

According to him, the entire rail facilities are being executed by CRCC and its subsidiaries.

On the Lagos-Ibadan rail facility, Amaechi told the contractor it must be delivered on schedule.

He also said the groundbreaking for the building of rolling stock production centre will be performed November 8, 2019 barring all unforeseen circumstances.

He said, “There is a need to also instruct both CCECC and CRCC 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.”

CRCC Vice President, Wang Wenzhong, said his company is committed to building quality facilities in Nigeria.

“We also demand our subsidiaries to work hard for Nigeria and also the people. We want all our projects in Nigeria to be the best in terms of quality to meet the satisfaction of the people of Nigeria,” he said. 

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