The Chinese Government has set down over $6.1 billion for rail projects development for Nigeria and the Federal Government of Nigeria has concluded plans to take over the loan of $6.1 billion from Chinese Exim Bank to complete all rail projects development in the country on or before 2019.
The spokesperson for Nigeria Government, the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, through the ministry’s Director of Public Relations, Mrs. Yetunde Sonaike reviewed this on Monday in a meeting at the 2017 Ministry Budget Proposal defence held at the National Assembly, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The spokesperson disclosed that the Federal Government had targeted the construction of Lagos-Ibadan, Kano to Kaduna rail projects and the first phase of the Coastal Rail (Lagos to Calabar) in the Ministry 2017 budget.
That the federal government under the leadership of President Buhari will ensure that all abandoned rail projects under the past administration be completed, that all rail projects in the country that have been awarded by past government must be revived to functionality on or before December 2019 due to economic significance and the benefits to be derived by the general public and the Federal Government is rehabilitating the old rail lines as well as constructing modern ones with higher speed.
“Our plan is to complete the rail projects in 2019.
“Once our borrowing plan of $6.1bn from the Chinese Exim Bank is approved by the National Assembly, we will be able to access the loan from the Chinese Government and work will commence in earnest.
“The 2017 total capital budget of the Federal Ministry of Transportation is N243.74bn.
“The 2016 total capital budget of the ministry was N171. 65bn, out of which N42bn was released, representing 24.5 per cent,”
The Ministry also disclosed that the loan will be used judiciously for the purpose its set to achieve. Railway system will expand commercial activities in Nigeria
That a good rail transport system had essential role to play in Nigeria, because it would serve as a catalyst for nation building.