GOVERNMENT has signed a non‒disclosure agreement with financial institutions to fund the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) revival programme.
Tarisai Mandizha, Business Reporter
Over $450 million is required for the initial stage of the programme, a government official has said.
Speaking at the House of Assembly in Harare on Wednesday, Minister of Tranport and Infrastructure Development, Obert Mpofu said NRZ has over the last decade been facing serious operational challenges due to aged locomotives, wagons and infrastructure among other issues.
“We have signed non-disclosure agreements with some financial institutions that have shown interest in funding some of our projects.
I am, therefore, not able to disclose at this stage, the details of the work in progress.
“However, I still have to seek approval for the loans I am currently pursuing to be secured,” Mpofu said Mpofu said based on the due diligence which was completed this year, it was also established that more than $450 million was required for the first stage of the NRZ revival programme.
“It has been established that more than $450 million is required for the initial phase of the revival programme for the NRZ. Thereafter, the entity will be able to re-capitalise through resources generated from its own operations,” Mpofu said.
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He said the key policy intervention to resuscitate NRZ was the provision of funding for purposes of clearing the maintenance backlog of the locomotives and wagons, as well as procuring some locomotives.
He, however, said the ministry was concerned with the current state of NRZ and had engaged its board, management and workers representatives to map the way forward.
“From the consultations we have made so far, it is clear that the key policy intervention needed is provision of funding for purposes of clearing the maintenance backlog of the locomotives and wagons, as well as procuring some locomotives.
“Funding is also required for the rehabilitation of track, signalling and telecommunications infrastructure,” Mpofu said.
Mpofu said the railway infrastructure had almost collapsed and these initiatives sought to address the entirety of the refurbishment of the signals, electrification and the tracks which were also part of the NRZ revival programme.