China Railway seeks collaboration with Nasarawa to build Apo-Keffi metroline
China Railway, a company wholly owned by the Chinese Government, is seeking to collaborate with the Nasarawa State Government, to build the 44km Apo-Keffi metroline.
Raymond Yeesuf, Business Development Manager, made this known when he led other Chinese investors on a courtesy call at the Government House on Thursday.
Yeesuf said they are interested in coming out with not just an agreement but a deal that is implementable.
“China Railway is a 100 percent state owned company by the Chinese Government. We are capable of doing different construction work including roads, railways, airport and seaports.
“We have worked in different parts of the world. We heard of the railway project, that is why we are here to make a proposal to undertake the Nasarawa State rail project with our rich experience in construction and financing aspect,” he stated.
Yeesuf explained that the concept the China Railway has for the Apo-Keffi metroline is a rail line that can move 20, 000 people per hour per day running about 60-100km and covering the route in about 30 to 60 minutes.
‘It would be a double lane that will connect to existing ones in Abuja. We are also proposing to have a power station dedicated to the train alone. We are looking how the train system itself is self-subsisting, self-sufficient having its own operational power system to ensure sustainability and efficiency of service,” he added.
He explained further that there would be a beautiful edifice at the border and a terminal building, with each of these buildings going to have a cultural heritage that would project the Nasarawa State, from socio-economic to historical, environmental perspectives.
“Such features will give people from outside the picture of the people, their heritage and environment, thereby attracting tourism, investment and interactions,” Yeesuf said.
He added that the China Railway is interested in working with the Nasarawa State Government to see that they entered into a partnership and to consider the various modes of partnership models.
Responding, Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, said the Apo-Keffi is a project that his administration started considering since 2019 when he came into office, having also approached some Russian companies towards making the project a reality.
According to Engineer Sule, the Apo-Keffi metroline project has excellent return on investment because of the opportunity on the lane from Abuja to Keffi, with the possibility of the project yielding 30 to 35 percent return on investment.
The Governor explained that, based on this favourable outlook, any investor can recover the total investment and assets afterwards, thereby becoming a positive asset for the investor.
He however pointed out that capital has been the issue inhibiting the execution of the project.
He also expressed optimism that the initial constraints especially that of the policy limiting railway construction to the Federal Government, has been resolved with the liberiasation of the railway sector, allowing states to enter into agreements to start building railway lines.
While expressing interest in the project, the Governor said his administration is willing to consider at the various options of financing the project.
“You can actually be the major equity owner, since that is your line of business. So you can do fhe engineering construction aspects of it as well as commissioning and operational aspect of it, ” he stated.
Also speaking, Managing Director/CEO of the Nasarawa Investment Development Agency (NASIDA), Ibrahim Abdullahi, highlighted on the various financing models open for the project, adding that the state government would look critically at the available options.