Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, says American multinational firm, General Electric (GE), wants to invest $2 billion to revive the Lagos-Kano Rail Line, as part of efforts to boost local and international trade along Nigeria’s northern and southern zones.
Mr. Osinbajo, who spoke Wednesday at the opening of the inaugural edition of the Lagos-Kano Economic and Investment Summit in Lagos, said the proposal by GE, under a concession from the Nigerian government, aims to enhance the movement of cargo from Apapa ports to Kano via the rail line.
“I believe that Lagos and Kano states have by this collaboration underscored the cornerstone of the federal government’s economic recovery and growth plan, namely the leveraging of synergies among states and between government and the private sector,” said Mr. Osinbajo, a Law Professor.
“The strategic role of the federal government is of course to create an enabling environment for commerce, beginning with the provision of infrastructure.
“For us, what this meant especially in the context of Lagos and Kano collaboration is the refurbishing of the narrow gauge Lagos to Kano Rail with a concession to General Electric who are proposing to invest almost $2 billion to ensure that the rail route is effective for movement of cargo from Apapa port to Kano.
“Similarly, we are investing in the Lagos to Kano standard gauge line, the Lagos-Ibadan portion of that is expected to be ready by the end of this year.
“Also, we have budgeted N80 billion for the development of special economic zones in the six geo-political zones of the country.”
Mr. Osinbajo also said arrangements had been made to establish independent power projects to specifically service printers in Somolu area and traders in Sura Market in Lagos.
He said the Federal Government would keep a close tap on the decisions reached at the Summit and would use it to direct its engagement with state governments going forward.