UPDATE: Nigeria secures $7.5 billion loan from China for rail project – Amaechi

Minister of Transportation Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi,  (middle) with the  Managing Director,  China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Ltd. (CCECC) Jack Li (left) and Mr Fidel Okhiria, Acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation.(right) during the test run of the recently built Rail line from  Abuja (Idu) to Kaduna
Minister of Transportation Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, (middle) with the Managing Director, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Ltd. (CCECC) Jack Li (left) and Mr Fidel Okhiria, Acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation.(right) during the test run of the recently built Rail line from Abuja (Idu) to Kaduna

The Federal Government has secured $7.5 billion loan for the construction of standard rail gauge from Lagos to Kano, an official has said.

The $7.5 billion is part of the $30 billion loan the federal government seeks to take and for which it has sought approval from the National Assembly.

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Monday provided details of the rail project at the North Central Town Hall meeting ‎held in Ilorin for the people of Kogi, Niger and Kwara states.

According to him, the loan was secured from a Chinese bank and the ministry is waiting for approval of the National Assembly to access the loan.

He said that $1. 4 billion of the loan was for the construction of the rail gauge from Lagos to Ibadan, while $6. 1 billion would be used on Ibadan–Ilorin–Minna-Kaduna– Kano line.

The minister added that Kaura Namoda–Funtua rail line would also be revived.

He, therefore, urged Nigerians to impress it on the National Assembly to approve the loan for work on the project to commence.

He added that the central rail project from Itakpe to Warri would be completed before the end of 2017, while narrow gauge line from Ilorin–Minna would also commence during the year.

Mr. Amaechi said plans were under way to connect Abuja to other parts of the country through the central line at Warri, while the Jos Inland Port would be completed in June, this year.

He said that a Lagos-Ijebu-Ode-Ore-Benin-Asaba-Agbor-Onisha-Sapele-Yenagoa-Port Harcourt-Uyo and Calabar coastal rail line would be constructed.

He said that work on the Eastern rail flank linking Aba to Port Harcourt, Makurdi, Enugu and Jos, would commence in June.

The minister said that Ekiti would be linked by rail through Osogbo and would run to Ilorin, Minna and Kano.

He also said that the ministry had sought approval to purchase more coaches and locomotives for the Abuja-Kaduna light rail.

He reiterated the determination of the Federal Government to rehabilitate the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport in Abuja.

According to him, the runway was built to last 20 years and has lasted 35 years and it is dangerous to allow planes to land there without putting things in good shape.

Mr. Amaechi said the All Progressives Congress, APC, controlled Federal Government did not promise to fix Nigeria’s problem within a year.

He said that the people should wait till the end of four years before they could assess the government.

“We did not promise you that those challenges will be solved in one year; if we promised you that, you would have given us one year.

“You gave us your mandate for four years, so you have to wait till the end of four years,” he said.

He accused the National Assembly of holding the Federal Government back from fixing infrastructure problems and creating jobs by failing to approve its borrowing plans.

According to him, if accessed, the loan will enable the government to embark on the revitalization of rail projects which will create more jobs for Nigerians.

On her part, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, put the inflation rate at 18 per cent.

She advised Nigerians to reduce their over-dependence on imported goods as a way of bringing down the high rate of foreign exchange.

According to Ms. Ahmed, it is necessary for the people to shun imported foods like wheat and patronise locally grown rice.

In his remarks, Governor of Kwara, Abdulfatah Ahmed, called for synergy between the states and Federal Government to fix infrastructure.

According to him, the issue of decayed infrastructure was of great concern to those in the region.

The meeting was attended by stakeholders, including traditional rulers, labour leaders, students, women societies, artisans and association of persons with disability.


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  • Simon

    As always the idiots in government will borrow $7.5 billion from Chinese to build rail lines which will be built by the same Chinese. For starter, these rail lines as described could have been done for half of the projected cost. Check out the cost of the construction of Ethiopia high speed rail vis-a-vis the recently launched Abuja-Kaduna line. There is no point for this government to be borrowing when ordinary Nigerians and their foreign investor partners could have done it. Nigerians could finance all these projects without Chinese loans, idiots. This government cannot even convince the US government under President Obama to release more than $400 million looted Abasha funds in the United States…. Useless government going around in circle!

    • Rommel

      Typical Nigerian,arrogance with no brains,so now the 750 km rail lines Ethiopia -Djibouti rails built by the Chinese,operated by same Chinese and with Chinese loan of (£2.7bn) is now being compared to over 5000 KM of rail lines that Nigeria is building.Was Jonathan able to convince the Americans to release the $400 million? you must be an Igbo because Igbo are the people that reason the way you just did

      • elvis

        Do you use your brain at all. Your support is always based on sentiment. Grow up please

        • Rommel

          And yours is what,rational? ah!! give me a break

          • aboki

            Rommel don’t waste your data bundle on these people as they would never understand the points on the benefits OF the project due to excessive ignorance and inbuilt HATRED on PMB person and the government of the day.
            Its only in Nigeria we see citizens celebrating the released of their LOOTER with bonfire and thanks giving services.
            Its only in Nigeria we celebrates sickness with death wish on our leaders. As some of us believe are here to live longer and everlasting till eternity.
            Its only in Nigeria our leaders believe stealing is not corruption.
            Its only in Nigeria when thieves are arrested and charged to court it’s witch hunting and northern AGENDA.
            Its only in Nigeria we hail the destruction of NATION ECONOMY by MILITANTS despite the environmental impact on our lives and nature.
            Indeed Nigerians must think fast and rebrand immediately.

      • Simon

        @Rommel – I am not going to engage with you at the base level. I am going to assume that you are a good Nigerian able to think rationally. I am a Nigerian who happened to be from one of the western states and FYI, I supported Buhari and campaigned for APC during the 2015 elections. Also, Lagos to Kano is just about 1000 KM and not 5000 KM. Of course, Jonathan and PDP were rogues and thieves. Yet, I believe that at this time APC is not the solution. It is time for all patriotic Nigerians from the North, South, West and East to come together to look for serious personalities who can turn the country around irrespective of the religion and ethnic background. As I have said in another forum, 2019 is already around the corner and all hands must be on the deck to look for the right men and women who can lead this country to greater heights. Think Pat Utomi, former Gov Fashola, Dr Okonjo-Iweala are just three names that readily come to mind

        • Rommel

          You were given different rail projects across the country and if you add all,will amount to that

        • Tola

          Just calling for people for solutions is ambiguous. State your policy options. As far back as April 11 2005 in my aricle in Business Day ‘Resolving the Deregulation Blues’ I wrote “the long term solution to transportion of people and goods in Nigeria is effective rail net-work. There must be a national program backed by a parliamentary appropriation for integrating the nation into a rail network”. I have my expectations including warning, in 2007, that if oil price falls below $50/bbl we would have severe economic problems for our wastefulness. Our long term solution is tackling corruption, investing in people, agriculture and infrastructure. The government needs to work harder on people and agriculture, but they seem to be fairly ok on the other two given the funding constraints. Give policy expectations not people expectations.

      • Grit Harrison

        When you call Johnathan into argument of this sort,it is like comparing Analog and automation,Jonathan is too far superior to the blind leaders you admired and want to sell to us,His policies and action was a treat to Obama because Obama saw a man whose Vision foresight was hundred yrs ahead of his,he saw a leader who will not need America to make his country Nigeria Great,so please dont compare Jonathan think tank with this Administration confuse bunch, In Jonathan Era,countries were rushing to come and invest in Nigeria,today countries are on a sprint to move out of Nigeria,Why? Bad Policies,too many lies, Your Liar Mohammad was just telling Nigerians to Mention one lie he had told,when not up to 24hrs,he is engage in a shaking lie of if he said faulty plane or not,.GEJ,he who God have bless,non can curse

        • Tola

          This is ridiculous. I hope you are just playing politics because it will be sad if you actually believe what you have said. Oil sold for average of $106/bbl and we produced 2.2bbl/day in 2013 with similar figures in 2014; where are the infrastructures? Let us stop being ridiculous!

    • Arkhuma

      You swim in ignorance and is also blinded by the hatred you have for this government. The Ethiopia example you cited is also Chinese driven and I don’t see why you would think it’s now a crime to borrow from the Chinese to upgrade or even establish infrastructures. Nigeria is not the only sub Saharan African country lashing unto this window of opportunity provided by the Chinese. Since the western countries are reluctant to provide these much needed incentives and also the fact that nature abhors a vacuum, others will step in. The Ajaokuta steel company is a case study on how not to be too hopeful on these western countries. I wonder what you meant by “Nigeria and their foreign investors partners could have done it”. Guess the Chinese are local partners. For the avoidance of doubt, America or UK will not provide such funds and when there are such facility, the conditions for accessing them are usually unattainable. I’m happy to read about these ambitious plans of the government to link up the country through rail. While we’ve come to realise that there’s a huge difference between pronounced intentions and active execution in Nigeria, nevertheless, I will still continue to nurture the hope that somehow, sometime, our system will get things right and find our needle in a roomful of haystacks. Do not blame this government for not being able to repatriate stolen funds yet, blame those that stole the money in the first place. Recovery of looted resources is never that easy. Ask the Latin American countries and other nations who have had the misfortune of having kleptomaniacs in power.

  • Akatikpo

    Why is this government economical with the truth. Okonjo Iweala engaged the Chinese Govt on these loans in a highly professional manner. This mediocre government is selling off Nigeria for a mess of porridge to the Chinese. I have not seen any economy rescued by the Chinese. They are very shrewd and ruthless in business negotiations. They need a crack team to engage them not govt of APC that is very infantile and always playing to the gallery. The Chinese are presently smacking their lips and popping champagne because maga don fall for them. The structure of these rail projects should not be loan based but BOT. Where will the govt get the money to pay back these loans? Govt cannot run rail networks. We know what happened to the old NRC,NITEL, NIGERIA AIRWAYS, NIGERIA SHIPPING LINE, etcc.

    • Simon

      Thanks for the info. Some of us have actually done businesses with the Chinese and the Koreans and can readily say that they are not the best to deal with. Their words means nothing. You always have to watch you back.

    • Steve

      Thanks my bro, they should allow private sectors to build and manage the rail system which they can hand over the management over years as their contract expires. This is my thought since Nigeria has no money now and considering the fact that they can not manage this project to be able to pay back the loan.

    • Orphic

      Indeed, that’s what the Ethiopians did. They have an electrified rail line that is built and operated by the Chinese. Besides China needs these deals because it has an overcapacity in steel especially rail steel.

  • Rommel

    Very ambitious projects that require our support,this is the second time in Nigeria’s history that an attempt is being made to open the country via viable economic network arteries,the first was exploitative from colonial masters but this one is designed to enhance movement of goods and services within the country,that of colonial masters was strictly for export of raw materials.More grease to the elbow of this administration.Dumbo had enough resources to do all these but he chose to share the money to criminals

    • Grit Harrison

      The rail that Dumbo did was the one your lying APC administration commissioned,glorying in another man success! APC have recovered alot of loot,why go borrowing ,why not used the recovered loot for this project.Mind you,your APC have never think anything by themselves because all this are the ideas and the inspiration of the Dumbo you hate so much, If he did all this sharing as propel by you and the APC Propagandists,it seem the rest of the world did not buy into it because GEJ is still the bride of the world,from one invitation to another.He who God have bless,non can curse. By the way,the Protest is still on against your APC Administration.Keep calling him Dumbo,but all know who is the real Dumbo

      • Baba B

        No need to comment on this trash as might even be worse than trash as a person

  • Comfortkay

    Nigerian has enough Billionaires that can give out 30 Billion Dollars for the project but they would prefer not to do it, our rich men and women are enemies of Nigerian.

    • commentsfile..!

      some will still organise protest against this project.
      …that is Nigeria for you.

      • NwaIgbo

        The enemies of progress will do such.

    • NwaIgbo

      True talk..

  • Ohnigeria Godsavenigeria

    Even me,# I stand with my nation Nigeria and her citizens. #
    Have anybody ever bothered to ask how this loans will be repaid.
    For many years to come, Nigerians shall be in sorrow, pain, agony when they remember the willful error of judgment that allowed Buhari and his lying incompetent, integrity deficiency government to take over Nigeria.
    Again is it not a big shame to Buhari and his lying agents ,that he was coming to government without any plan, idea or program,
    but only fixated his mindset on crude oil. It shows clearly that Buhari is both incompetent,myopic and unprepared for the seat that jegas fraud , tinubus lies ,highly crafted media propaganda,Amaechis looting of rivers state resources and Hillary Clinton imposed on him.
    Again Buhari to me came with a terrible bad omen, because oil price is not a factor influenced by Jonathan to favor himself, it was a divine intervention and arrangements that ensured that Nigerians rejoiced under Jonathan because God was with him, for Jonathan is a good man and God’s elect for Nigerian nation.
    Buhari came with a vindictive, primordial, clannish, hate, tribal ,religious and ethnic bigotry, and God seeing his malicious mind dispositions ,dissapointed him with an unfavorable oil price so that his malicious enterprises and evil desires shall not be performed.
    Buhari is a calamitous ineptitude and a big set back to Nigeria. Nearly 2years have passed, and all the dividend of Buharis misadventures in Nigeria is pain, agony, lies upon lies, death and sorrow. May God deliver our nation from this epidemic called change.May God never allow this nation to ever fall into the evil grip of liars and hypocrites again. Shame on this liars and hypocrites

    • Ohnigeria Godsavenigeria

      God please save Nigeria, after Buharis myopic misadventure with Nigeria ,the fate that befell osun state under aregbe wonder, shall be a child play.

    • El Patron

      If they do honestly with the loan what they say they will, paying the loan wont be a problem. The loan will pay itself

  • Izu

    These evil criminals have insisted that the so called country Nigeria will never get better or have change for the citizens. Just now I knew that him Amaechi Rot is made minister for transport while he suppose to be in prison or face firing squad.
    Evil has taken toll in country.. Please JEHOVAH come and set your people free. Ameeeeen

  • paul irumundomon

    How is Nigeria going to pay back these loans from china. The Chinese are big criminals, what plans do this buhari governmemt have in place to pay back all these loans.

  • mybros

    I fully support the Govt in efforts to develop infrastructure in the country.
    All these cry about repayment are not necessary as infrastructure normally triggers booming economy and a booming economy always generates income to pay off loans.
    Challenge is that our ppl have been held down and deceived by politicians for so long that they are so afraid of leaders and do not trust their sincerity of purpose.Lets give them a chance !

  • Adam Abbas

    Plea to Mr Rotimi Amaechi, Minister for Transport. Pls no more single carriage railway tracks. WE NEED DUAL CARRIAGE RAILWAY TRACKS. GOING AND COMING. single carriage done on Abuja kaduna line was a fraud on the people. The colonial Govt did single carriage RAIL tracks 106 years ago and GEJ administration was repeating single track 100 years after that of the colonial Govt is enough a shame. So please no more single carriage rail track. DUAL CARRIAGE. Even if you have to borrow more or reduce the number of projects it has to be dual carriage. The old line is still valid for cargo, good and slow passenger. Hope the loan to be acquired will not be stolen and Nigerians left with unusable single track

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