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Nigerian govt, UK firm sign MoU for Port Harcourt–Abuja standard gauge rail line



The Federal Government through the Ministry of Transport has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a United Kingdom company, Messrs MPH Rail Development Limited, for the construction and implementation of the Port Harcourt–Enugu–Calabar–Abuja Standard Gauge Rail Line

In a statement published on the website of the ministry on Friday, under the terms of the agreement, the project which is a public-private partnership framework will see the UK firm manage the design, construction, commissioning, operation, and eventual transfer of the rail line to the Nigerian government.

The ministry’s statement stated that the signing of the MoU followed the approval of the Outline Business Case and the issuance of a compliance certificate by the Infrastructure, Concession, and Regulatory Commission.

“This clearance enables Messrs MPH Rail Development Limited to focus on compiling the necessary documentation for Federal Executive Council approval to advance the project.

“As part of the initiative to consolidate the ongoing railway modernisation projects consistent with the Renewed Hope Agenda of Presidential Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration, the Minister of Transportation, Senator Said Ahmed Alkali, has executed a Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Transportation with Messrs MPH Rail Development (UK) Limited to enable the company to carry out the design, construction, commissioning, operation and transfer of the Port Harcourt–Enugu–Calabar–Abuja Standard Gauge Rail Line on Public – Private Partnership basis,” the statement reads.

The ministry said vital documents required for the project’s progression include a comprehensive feasibility study report, a complete Business Case Study, an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, the development of a Resettlement Action Plan, and the formulation of a Financial Model to facilitate project implementation.

“This ensures that the project’s transfer to the federal government under a PPP arrangement without incurring loans or debts for the Nigerian government or its agencies.

According to the statement, Alkali, signed on behalf of the Federal Government and was attended by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transportation, Olufemi Oloruntola, along with the Director of Rail Development, Zirra Fimbarr, and the Director of Legal Services, Pius Oteh.

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