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Nigerians Call out FG over MoU Signed with UK Firm for Port Harcourt–Abuja Rail Line

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Nigerians Call out FG over MoU Signed with UK firm for Port Harcourt–Abuja rail line

Nigerians have raised concerns over the capability of MPH Rail Development Limited, a United Kingdom-based firm the Federal Government contracted to build the Port-Harcourt—Calabar—Abuja Standard gauge rail line.

On March 13, 2024, the Minister of Transportation, Sen. Sa’idu Ahmed Alkali, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UK firm on behalf of the Federal Government to enable the company to carry out the design, construction, commissioning, operation, and transfer of the project under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

Following the announcement which awaits the Federal Executive Committee approval, Nigerians have taken to X (formerly Twitter) to express concerns over the capacity to deliver considering the company is new in the rail construction industry.

The criticism also bothers on the need to revisit an existing project as noted by a former presidential aide, Tolu Ogunlesi, who stated that there’s already a Warri—Itakpe Standard Gauge Rail, suggesting an extension from Warri to Port Harcourt and from Itakpe to Abuja to get Port Harcourt — Abuja Standard Gauge Rail.

However, the Managing Director of MPH Rail Development Group, Andrew Jason, has shown the company’s credibility records on past projects, including a joint yet seasoned operation of young and highly skilled engineers, consultants, and managers with expertise utilised in building prestigious capital projects such as HS2, Eurotunnel, Network Rail, Thameslink and Dubai Metro.

Meanwhile, Jason had made it public knowledge on his LinkedIn profile, his involvement in an ongoing 1,1448km railway project in Nigeria as a PPP engagement with the Nigerian government, through the Ministry of Transportation.

“We are currently working on a 1,448km railway in Nigeria as a PPP with the Nigerian Government,” he stated.

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