Following the acceptance of General Electric (GE) to buy into the complete turn- around of Nigeria’s railway infrastructure, another United States-based firm, Ameri Metro, has opted to invest over $10 billion in the coastal rail project from Lagos to Calabar and Calabar to Port Harcourt.
The founder of the American firm, Shah Mathias, said that the project will be fully funded by the company if approved by the Federal Government. Mathias said that the company has done various rail projects in the United States, and has the resources and capacity to handle similar projects in Nigeria.
“We are here to do a presentation on the high speed rail and other sustainable projects; our goal is to build a more modern rail, which we can start as soon as possible. “We are ready to invest 100 per cent; we have been told that the project is over $10 billion; we are going to build new rail track, bring in locomotives.
“We are looking at the Lagos-Calabar coastal line and Port Harcourt; we are ready to take it over from the Chinese company since they (government) have not been able to raise the money” he said. Mathias said that the company was focused on the development of high-speed rail for passengers and freight transportation.
Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Ameachi said recently that he has received approvals from the president to borrow from other countries and international organisations to develop the rail and road infrastructure. According to him, the government was already negotiating with Russian Exim Bank for a loan of over $46 billion.
It would be recalled that the Chinese Civil and Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) is currently handling the standard gauge project from Lagos to Ibadan, which the Minister has promised will be completed this year, while GE has also indicated interest to revamp the narrow gauge lines.