- GE Wins $2.2bn Narrow Gauge Rail Concession
The Federal Government on Wednesday announced that General Electric, a global conglomerate, had emerged the preferred bidder for the narrow gauge railway concession in Nigeria.
It handed over the letter of award to GE at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Transportation in Abuja and noted that the ceremony marked the formal concession of the narrow gauge rail facilities to the firm for investments.
The government said the concession would see GE invest in excess of $2.2bn in the narrow gauge rail system that traverses almost the entire country.
According to the ministry, one trunk of the rail line starts from Lagos and goes through several states like Ogun, Oyo, Kwara, Niger and Kaduna down to Kano.
Another trunk starts from Port Harcourt through Abia, Enugu, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Bauchi and Gombe states, and terminates in Maiduguri.
Officials of the ministry stated that before the end of this year, GE would introduce 20 locomotives and about 200 coaches to move freight and passengers, adding that more investments would follow.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. Sabiu Zakari, handed over the letter of award to the President and Chief Executive Officer, GE, Mrs. Jamie Miller.
Miller told journalists that GE would work on the project with its partners, adding that the firm was pleased to emerge as the preferred bidder.
“GE and its partners will work with the Federal Government to work through a concession process that will bring the railway operations alive. GE will bring both project management and deep knowledge of the industry, and how to make projects like this in a successful way,” she said.
On his part, Zakari said, “The Federal Executive Council has approved the outline business case for the concession of the narrow gauge rail lines across the country. Today the President, Transport Section of GE, who are the preferred bidder for the concession, came and collected the letter of award.
“Based on that, we had a few discussions on the interim solutions that should be on board before the final concession agreement. We will also go into an interim arrangement with GE that will see them provide us with locomotives and wagons, as well as the renovation of the narrow gauge lines, which will now enable usage.”
He added, “GE will bring many coaches, which will help in freight and passenger movement, and this will ginger the economy. Our total agreement is about 100 wagons in the interim and 20 locomotives.
“They will make investments in terms of renovation and reactivation of wagons, coaches and the rail tracks, together with the signalling and railway stations. This will make the narrow gauge comfortable to use across the country and GE will recoup its investments over time.”
NNPC Supplies 1.44 Billion Litres of Petrol in January 2021
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) supplied a total of 1.44 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit popularly known as petrol in January 2021.
The corporation disclosed in its latest Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR) for the month of January.
NNPC said the 1.44 billion litres translate to 46.30 million litres per day.
Also, a total of 223.55Billion Cubic Feet (BCF) of natural gas was produced in the month of January 2021, translating to an average daily production of 7,220.22 Million Standard Cubic Feet per Day (mmscfd).
The 223.55BCF gas production figure also represents a 4.79% increase over output in December 2020.
Also, the daily average natural gas supply to gas power plants increased by 2.38 percent to 836mmscfd, equivalent to power generation of 3,415MW.
For the period of January 2020 to January 2021, a total of 2,973.01BCF of gas was produced representing an average daily production of 7,585.78 mmscfd during the period.
Period-to-date Production from Joint Ventures (JVs), Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) contributed about 65.20%, 19.97 percent and 14.83 percent respectively to the total national gas production.
Out of the total gas output in January 2021, a total of 149.24BCF of gas was commercialized consisting of 44.29BCF and 104.95BCF for the domestic and export markets respectively.
NNPC Says Pipeline Vandalism Decrease by 37.21 Percent in January 2021
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said vandalisation of pipelines across the country reduced by 37.21 percent in the month of January 2021.
This was disclosed in the January 2021 edition of the NNPC Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR).
The report noted that 27 pipeline points were vandalised in January 2021, down from 43 points posted in December 2020.
It also stated that the Mosimi Area accounted for 74 percent of the total vandalised points in Janauray while Kaduna Area and Port Harcourt accounted for the remaining 22 percent and 4 percent respectively.
NNPC said it will continue to engage local communities and other stakeholders to reduce and eventually eliminate the pipeline vandalism menace.
Nigeria’s Food Inflation Hits 22.95 Percent in March 2021
Food inflation in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria rose by 22.95 percent in March 2021, the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown.
Food Index increased at a faster pace when compared to 21.70 percent filed in February 2021.
Increases were recorded in Bread and cereals, Potatoes, yam and other tubers, Meat, Vegetable, Fish, Oils and fats and fruits.
On a monthly basis, the food sub-index grew by 1.90 percent in March 2021. An increase of 0.01 percent points from 1.89 percent recorded in February 2021.
Analysing a more stable inflation trend, the twelve-month ended March 2021, showed the food index averaged 17.93 percent in the last twelve months, representing an increase of 0.68 percent when compared to 17.25 percent recorded in February 2021.
Insecurities amid wide foreign exchange rates and several other bottlenecks that impeded free inflow of imported goods were responsible for the surged in prices of goods and services in March, according to the report.
The Central Bank of Nigeria-led monetary policy committee had attributed the increase in prices to scarcity created by the intermittent clash between herdsmen and farmers across the nation.
However, other factors like unclear economic policies, increased in electricity tariffs, duties, subsidy removal and weak fiscal buffer to moderate the negative effect of COVID-19 on the economy continue to weigh and drag on new investment and expansion of local production despite the Federal Government aggressive call for improvement in domestic production.
Nigeria’s headline inflation rose by 18.17 percent year-on-year in the month under review.
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