Ministry of Transport Signs MoU with UK Firm for Standard Gauge Rail Line Project

The Ministry of Transportation has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Messrs MPH Rail Development Limited, a UK-based company, to spearhead the implementation of the Port Harcourt–Enugu–Calabar–Abuja Standard Gauge Rail Line project under a public-private partnership (PPP) framework. This significant development was announced in a statement released on Friday via the ministry’s website.

According to the terms outlined in the MoU, the UK firm will oversee the design, construction, commissioning, operation, and eventual transfer of the Port Harcourt–Enugu–Calabar–Abuja Standard Gauge Rail Line. The signing of the MoU follows the approval of the Outline Business Case and the issuance of a compliance certificate by the Infrastructure, Concession, and Regulatory Commission, clearing the path for Messrs MPH Rail Development Limited to proceed with compiling the requisite documentation for Federal Executive Council (FEC) approval to advance the project.

The MoU signing ceremony, presided over by Minister of Transportation, Senator Said Alkali, was attended by key officials including the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transportation, Olufemi Oloruntola; Director of Rail Development, Zirra Fimbarr; and Director of Legal Services, Pius Oteh. Minister Alkali assured the company of the ministry’s unwavering support for the successful execution of the project, emphasizing the importance of meticulous preparation and submission of all necessary documents to expedite FEC’s approval.

In a statement, Minister Alkali highlighted the project’s alignment with the Presidential Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda, aimed at consolidating ongoing railway modernization efforts. The ministry underscored the critical documentation required for the project’s progression, including a comprehensive feasibility study report, complete Business Case Study, Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, development of a Resettlement Action Plan, and formulation of a Financial Model to facilitate implementation. Importantly, this approach ensures the project’s transfer to the federal government under a PPP arrangement without burdening the Nigerian government or its agencies with loans or debts.


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