Kogi State Government and the Chinese construction company, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) have met to finalize arrangements to scale up business relationships in the areas of planning, financing, and execution of transport infrastructure in the state.
At a meeting at the CCECC headquarters in Abuja, the Executive Officer, of Kogi State Investment Promotion and Public-Private Partnership Agency, Abdulkareem Siyaka, who led the government’s delegation, said the partnership was in line with the Kogi’s medium-term economic development goals, which within a five-year time frame, would want to develop her infrastructure outlay, citing transport infrastructure as the bedrock of economic development.
He said the first line of business upscaling and partnership would be the construction of the Inland Transit Port in Lokoja to link Warri – Burutu/Port Harcourt via Onitsha, which would develop the movement of agricultural produce and solid mineral cargo to and from northern and southern Nigeria.
Siyaka said the upgrade of the Adogo Airstrip to a commercial cargo airport to facilitate growth in cross-border trade and investment and boost real sector productivity was discussed.
Another infrastructure to be executed under the partnership is the construction of the Electrified Rail Project between Jeba and Lokoja. This will reduce haulage costs within Nigeria by freeing excess pressure on road transport infrastructure.
Speaking on the business models, Siyaka stated that Kogi State is in the process of building its economy from a conservative civil service state to an Industrial giant in northern Nigeria.
He said the ‘Build -Operate-Transfer’ model or similar model that will be economical for both parties would be ideal while involving the Federal Government to provide sovereign guarantees including counterpart funding in any or all the projects.
Deputy Managing Director of CCECC, Guo Wenjun commended the state government for its vision while expressing readiness for the relationship.
He noted that the Kogi State Government has been a friendly business partner of CCECC over the years with mutual understanding and benefits.
Source: The Nation