The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) says it is developing a roadmap to concession the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC).
This is contained in a statement issued by the Head, Public Communications, Mr Alex Okoh, in Abuja on Thursday.
It stated that BPE would be developing the framework in collaboration with the Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility (NIAF) which had committed to fund the project and provide free technical support.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that in 2002, the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) had approved the concessioning of NRC to private operators to improve freight and passenger railway services.
“The decision to reform the railways was borne out of the government desire to avoid the collapse and eventual shut down of the railways.
“In view of the funding challenges facing the future of rail in Nigeria, it seems the efficiency and professionalism which the private sector can bring, will improve railway operations,’’ it stated.
It stated that the railway reform, restructuring and privatisation programme was aimed at providing the framework for private sector to grow and expand the corporation.
The statement stated also that the concessioning would reduce NRC’s overdependence on the Federal Government for funding and investment.
NAN recalls that the National Council on Privatisation had earlier recommended the enactment of a law to provide the appropriate market, design and legal framework.
NAN also recalls that the new bill seeks to separate the roles of policy making, regulation and operation and allow private sector participation and promote competition in railway services nationwide.