The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has declared its intention to use the private-public partnership business model to make the railways value driven and viable means of transportation.
Adeseyi Sijuade, managing director and chief executive officer, NRC, who made this known to newsmen in Lagos said the corporation has commenced the process for selecting potential logistics service providers to partner with NRC in the design, build, maintain, operate and transfer (DBMOT) of warehousing to provide suitable, safe and secure storage space for goods.
The Federal Government has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with General Electric (GE) for setting up of a locomotive assembly plant in Nigeria even as a transaction advisor for the transaction is being selected.
Other areas of collaboration under the PPP initiative are in financing, supplying, operating modern facilities and provision of services for loading and offloading of goods.
The PPP initiative will also see participating companies and the corporation jointly managing NRC railway wagons to enhance freight haulage capacity, the chief executive said.
Sijuade said that the role of the private partners will be comparable to that of the National Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) or SAHCOL in the aviation sector, noting that engaging in the PPP model has become necessary to reduce delay in goods clearance from the train stations to the final destination.
Government parastatals like the NRC, Sijuade argued, will continue to be proactive and will always explore available and workable options that will complement Federal Government’s policies and programmes that will meet the transportation needs of millions of Nigerians.
For the step one outsourcing programme under the PPP initiative, NRC has already outsourced on-board cleaning of passenger trains, cleaning of major train stations and on-board catering services.
Other outsourcing plans embarked upon are in the areas of facilities management of all major stations, ticketing services and park and ride services (car parking) for passengers.