The Minister of Economy and Finance chaired Thursday, July 25th 2019 in Rabat, the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding between the State and the Moroccan National Railways (ONCF).
The agreement was signed between, on the one hand the State, represented by the Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Mohamed BENCHAABOUN, and the Minister of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water, Mr. Abdelkader AMARA, and Mr. Mohamed RABIE KHLIE, Director General of the (ONCF) on the other. By this agreement, the parties have signed, pending the 2019-2025 Program-Contract to be launched at the end of 2019, the strategic guidelines for the development and continuity of the (ONCF) model.
In his address, the Minister of Economy and Finance stated that the agreement between the State and the (ONCF) is signed in the context of the implementation of the High Royal Guidelines, in particular during the Council of Ministers of October 10th 2018. Within this framework, he noted that the Ministry continuously and closely works with the supervisory Departments and Public Establishments and Entreprises for the implementation of action plans. The latter aims at restructuring them through the redesigning of their business model, refocusing their activities on the core business and re-establishing their financial sustainability, within the framework of multiannual program-contracts with the State.
The objective of this agreement is to set up an economic model able to sustain the (ONCF's) upgrading effort, thanks to the structuring investments made during the last two decades and the implementation of the new guidelines of the State to the (ONCF). The overall efforts aim at developing the Moroccan railway network according to an optimized scheme, particularly in terms of funds and governance, as well as sustaining the effort of matching the quality and regularity of services with international standards.
This Memorandum of Understanding includes a first transitional phase covering the period 2019-2021, including, in particular, debt restructuring, the sale of non-operating assets as well as the mobilization of the relevant resources to meet the cash requirements likely to enable the Office to meet its commitments with regard to its partners and ensure compliance with payment deadlines.
The second phase of this agreement is intended for the implementation of the organizational and institutional restructuring scheme from 2022. This phase is designed to separate the development of rail infrastructure from the commercial operation of the network on the basis of studies and assessing actions launched earlier.
This restructuring plan will be set out in the new contract –program which will develop detailed actions, levers and progress measures to successfully implement a sustainable model able to achieve the objectives and challenges of development and the modernization of the railway sector.