The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has disclosed that it signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with a United States-based firm, Atlanta Global Resources Inc (AGRI) to build a railway network that will connect the nine states of the Niger Delta region. This agreement was reached at the Public Private Partnerships (PPP) Summit which NDDC organised in Lagos on Tuesday, April 25, 2023.
In a statement signed by its Director, Corporate Affairs, Ibitoye Abosede, the Commission warned that the foundational process may have been misconstrued by some persons to mean that the NDDC has signed the Engineering, Procurement and Construction, EPC, contract. While appreciating the need to be seen to be accountable and transparent as it collaborates with its stakeholders in the arduous task of developing the Niger Delta region, the NDDC said all it signed at the PPP Summit was a basic MoU to commence the preliminary processes of feasibility and viability of the rail project.
The Commission denied adding any agreement on details. The NDDC said it has been inundated with enquiries over what is ordinarily one of the preliminary steps necessary for the actualization of a partnership arrangement with the private sector. Giving further clarifications, the Commission explained that it is only after the preliminary studies, that the finance appraisals will be done and then the civil engineering procurements and the locomotive hardware will be considered.
“For those who may not know, the Atlanta Global Resources Inc deals with financing for Industrial products, infrastructure projects, agriculture equipment, capital equipment financing etc. They came recommended by a reliable US financial institution, especially for the deployment of US-produced locomotives.