Amaechi seeks fresh Chinese  $5.3bn loan for Ibadan- Kano rail project

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Amaechi seeks fresh Chinese  $5.3bn loan for Ibadan- Kano rail project

Abiola Seun    |  

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said that the construction and completion of Ibadan-Kano standard gauge rail project will required $5.3 billion loan.

Amechi disclosed this over the weekend after inspecting Lagos-Ibadan rail project.

According to Amaechi, the government is ready for the Ibadan-Kano rail project to take off,  saying the Lagos-Ibadan rail project has no funding challenge as there are enough fund to complete the Lagos-Ibadan rail project.

“We are waiting for approval of the loan. But you will see skeletal activities even before the loan comes. We have not gotten the loan but for the Lagos-Ibadan rail project, there is enough money and we have no problem with this project. 

“When we asked the National Assembly to stop the investigation into loans collected for the rail project, it didn’t mean there is no money to complete the Lagos-Ibadan rail project but what we meant is that they should please allow us to get the $5.3bn loan for the Ibadan to Kano rail project before they start investigating loans. The NASS is not investigating corruption in construction.

“For the Lagos-Ibadan rail, we have a loan of $1.6 billion and Nigeria is contributing between $200 million and $300 million. 

“If your lender knows that your people are complaining that they don’t like the way he borrowed you loan, he won’t borrow you any new loan. Don’t forget, the Chinese have not completed the payment to Nigeria so, they could stop at any time,” he hinted.

Also speaking at the inspection, Minister of information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said that there is no better way to answer Nigerians as to what government has done with the money borrowed all over the world than the standard gauge rail project.

He said: “We have been on inspection of the standard gauge rail for the past seven hours from Lagos to Abeokuta. From Apapa to Ebute-Metta, down to Papalanto, and Abeokuta, we have seen what is being done. To me, there is no better way to answer Nigerians as to what we have done with the monies that we have borrowed all over the world.

“From what we have seen today, the rolling stocks, the stations and others, it is obvious that this is a project that will outlive all of us here. We didn’t borrow money for overhead expenditures nor for some unnecessary services but, we borrowed money for capital projects like rails, roads, bridges, power and general infrastructure.”

He said the inspection is done with the media so that they can better inform Nigerians that there is nothing bad in borrowing loans, as long as such loans are invested in infrastructure, and create jobs as well as create an enabling environment for the economy. 

“I am very excited about this project. You can see the passion in the Hon. Minister of Transportation while we were inspecting the project. He was telling the contractors that he cannot wait till October, that he will be coming in four weeks’ time.

“I hope that at the end of the project, we will all come back here for the commissioning of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail project,” he said.

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