The Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, is being investigated by the Senate over the procedure leading to the concession of Port Harcourt-Maiduguri and Lagos-Kano rail lines to General Electric, a US Conglomerate, for $2 billion. The decision of the Senate was sequel to a motion sponsored by Senator Bassey Akpan, who informed the senators that the former governor of Rivers State violated the Public Enterprises (Privatization and Commercialization) Act, 1999.
Bassey said Amaechi did this by “unilaterally engaging General Electric for the concessioning of the Western and Eastern Rail Lines”. Bassey, in his lead debate on the motion, said: “That the Bureau of Public Enterprises and the Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility upon the arrival of the National Council on Privatization in April 2015, developed a road map for the concessioning of the Western (Lagos-Kano) and Eastern (Port Harcourt-Maiduguri) rail lines despite the fact that the Nigeria Railway Corporation Act did not envisage a concessioning of the Corporation until recently amended.”
He added that the BPE had engaged the Global Infrastructure Facility and the World Bank in discussions on how to access funds to manage the project before Amaechi’s “unilateral” deal with GE. Senator Bassey said it is not the under the purview of the Minister of Transport to engaged any company since the responsibility of the Steering Committee and Technical Committee of the NPC is to negotiate with potential bidders for concession.