Mr. John Rice, vice-chairman, General Electric Company, has assured that the Company would assist the Federal Government to revive the nation’s ailing railway system with supports in terms of manpower training, provision of spare parts and maintenance.
The assurance came on the heels of GE’s signing of an agreement with the Federal Government aimed at promoting collaboration between GE and Nigerian public and private sector organizations that are driving critical infrastructure projects across the country.
Michael Kaase Aondoakaa, Nigeria’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice and John Rice, GE Vice Chairman, signed the agreement in Abuja with objectives of encouraging active collaboration between the two parties to use advanced technologies and solutions in a way that enhances economic development and competitiveness of the Nigerian economy.
The agreement is expected to strengthen Nigeria’s existing commercial relationship with GE, expanding the possible opportunities to include railway infrastructure development and rehabilitation, oil and gas processing, distribution and transportation, electric power generation, water treatment, healthcare, aviation as well as integrated safety and security systems.
Rice explained that the agreement had further strengthened the business relationship between the two parties, adding that Nigeria constitutes its biggest operation base in Africa.
According to him, apart from the supplies of 25 locomotives, there is the need for modernization of rail lines. We will support that through training, supply of spare parts and maintenance.
“We are operating with the Nigerian Railway the same commitment we have anywhere in the world”, he assured while responding to a question on whether the locomotives will not park up after few months of operation.
On the past years of operation in Nigeria, the GE Vice-Chairman said, GE has enjoyed an excellent relationship with Nigeria for many years, providing support to the nation’s infrastructure strategy. This agreement he said would further strengthen their long standing relationship with Nigeria and is part of our contribution towards meeting the country’s Vision 2020.
“This partnership will also give GE the opportunity to strengthen our own local capabilities, enhancing our ability to serve the Federal Republic of Nigeria as the nation drives its technology and education strategies.”
He added that it will in addition leverage GE’s infrastructural competence, the two parties agreed to create technical and managerial employment opportunities for Nigerians as well as bring GE’s renowned management and leadership training to Nigeria’s business community who will drive the next wave of high-growth opportunities for the country.
GE has had a long-standing presence in Nigeria in transportation, energy, aviation, healthcare and oil & gas, among other sectors.
GE Energy has a history of supplying technology for power generation projects, and of the more than 200 GE gas turbines currently installed in Africa, and more than half is located in Nigeria.
In the aviation sector, GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS) and GE Aviation have a strong presence among leading Nigerian airlines. GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS) currently has seven aircraft on lease to Virgin Nigeria Airways and Bellview with a value of approximately $100 million and recently concluded the sale of four B737NG series aircraft to Arik Air.