The Nigerian Senate has resolved to probe the country’s Ministry of Transport headed by Rotimi Amaechi over the procedure leading to concession of Port Harcourt-Maiduguri and Lagos-Kano rail lines to General Electric, GE, a U.S. conglomerate.
In a motion at the Senate on Tuesday, Akpan Bassey (PDP-Cross River) said Mr. Amaechi violated the Public Enterprises (Privatization and Commercialization) Act, 1999 by “unilaterally engaging General Electric for the concessioning of the Western and Eastern Rail Lines.”
Senator Bassey, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Gas, said upon approval of the of the project by the National Privatization Council in April 2015, twilight of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure, the Bureau of Public Enterprises and the Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility had developed a roadmap.
He said the BPE had engaged the Global Infrastructure Facility and the World Bank in discussions on how to access funds to manage the project before Mr. Amaechi’s “unilateral” deal with GE.
Following the motion, the Senate resolved to refer the matter to its committees on privatization, finance, land transport, anti-corruption and financial crimes, trade and investment for further actions.
Amaechi had in an interview with CNBC in June announced Nigeria’s engagement with GE regarding the concession of Western and Eastern rail lines – Lagos to Kano and Port Harcourt to Maiduguri respectively – worth around $2 billion.