The NDDC debacle over a 15 billion contract on rail line infrastructure is yet to settle, after the Chairman of the Board kicked against the position, the MD has touted a new position.
We have been inundated by such enquiries too from many people. For those who do not know, it’s easy to conclude that we have already signed an EPC contract. That is not the case here.
AGRI is a company that is into arrangements ie the pulling together of resources viz, financing, engineering, hardware production, procurement management etc. They came recommended by the US Export-Import Bank especially for the deployment of US produced locomotives.
All we signed is a basic MOU with them to commence the preliminary processes of feasibility and viability of the rail projects. No Agreement on details yet at all.
After the preliminary studies, will come the finance appraisals and then the civil engineering procurements and the locomotive hardwares.
Many things will be involved at a level akin to the NLNG train 7.
EPC contractors and hundreds of other international consultants. The ICRC and NRC as well as the Ministry of Transport will be hugely involved.
Lastly, sovereign guarantees are a must. Only the FG can grant that with the approval of the NASS.
The other day signing is simply the opening phase that will determine how far we will go but it definitely showcases how interested the International Partners are in tapping into the Niger Delta region and I dare say, they are swarming in, in droves. I see a bright and prosperous Niger Delta from the prism of the PPP.
Finally, everyone knows that beginning process doesn’t determine the final outcome. But our going public and celebrating little success is what is attracting bigger investors and interest. Out of ten, one or two might be successful to the benefit of the region. If it doesn’t cost us anything, I think there is no harm in giving these proposals a try.