Nigeria secures $1.5 billion Chinese loan for Lagos-Ibadan rail


The Federal Government has secured $1.5 billion (about N450 billion) counterpart funding from China for the Lagos-Ibadan rail project set to commence in March.

The Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, made the disclosure on Wednesday when he appeared before the Gbenga Ashafa-led Senate committee on land transport to give report of his ministry’s 2016 budget and defend the proposal for 2017.

“In the first quarter of 2017, the foundation of the Lagos-Ibadan segment two of the Lagos-Kano rail project will be laid,” said Mr. Amaechi; adding that, “the implication here is that we will start the Lagos-Ibadan rail line before the end of March.

“Our target is to commence from the Apapa seaport down to Ogun and then to Ibadan.”

Lagos-Ibadan rail line is a segment of the Lagos-Kano railway project, one of the most important and ambitious infrastructural targets of the Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress government.

In January, the government announced wholesale release of N72 billion as Nigeria’s counterpart funding for the Lagos-Ibadan railway.

Mr. Amaechi  explained to the senators that the $1.5 billion counterpart funding had been approved by China and was being processed by the China Exim Bank.

“The counterpart funding is ready, but don’t forget that we are borrowing the money from China. The China Exim Bank is processing it.

Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi
Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi

“Our 15 per cent is ready; so, we are waiting for China Exim Bank. They have managed to release and approve $1.5 billion for the Lagos-Ibadan line.

“It is also envisaged that segment three of the Lagos-Kano rail project, which is the Kano-Kaduna stretch, as well as the first phase of the coastal railway line Lagos-Calabar, commencing from Calabar to Port Harcourt with extension to the Onne Deep Seaport will commence after the conclusion of the negotiation of a financing loan agreement,” said Mr. Amaechi.

He then urged the National Assembly to approve the $30 billion national (rolling) borrowing plan of the government. He said the approval was essential for securing funds needed to finance rail projects in the country.

Gbenga Ashafa
Senator Gbenga Ashafa

“The National Assembly needs to give us approval for the borrowing plan so that we can commence work. We can’t sign the loan agreement with China unless there is an approval from the National Assembly.

“What the National Assembly has approved is the counterpart funding, but we need the approval to borrow the remaining money. If you look at $6.1 billion in naira, and we are paying 15 per cent, you will know that the remaining amount is coming from China and until we have approval, we cannot do anything.

“Even now, the China Exim Bank has approved $1.5 billion for the Lagos-Ibadan line. We are not able to sign the loan agreement because we need the approval of the National Assembly.”

On the performance of the 2016 budget, the minister said uncompleted projects in the previous year had been included in the proposed 2017 budget.

Speaking for the Senate, Mr. Ashafa promised cooperation with the transportation ministry to ensure implementation of the infrastructural objectives.


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  • PolyGon2013

    Eko o ni ba je o. SW o ni ba je o. We need to connect the whole country zone with rail road, and let each zone manage their own section!

  • Rommel

    Perhaps Nigerians have not realized that development requires massive investments and if we are not investing in our own economy,how will we attract foreign investments?

    • SayNo2Tribalism

      We are actually not serious about getting out of recession. Obama spent more than $700b (this is not a typo) to lift the American economy out of recession. In Nigeria the government wants to invest $30b (I think it should be $300b if they can raise it) and the national assembly (which is in fact a national theater) does not give a damn about the economy.

      • Mufu Ola

        Illiterate talk! Why would we go borrowing if we have the money to spend out of “recession”? Americans must spend under any circumstance because that’s what sustains their economy.The reason why the system frown seriously at you if u’re just stashing money at home or bank for nothing.

        • KEYWORD

          Uncle, please if you don’t understand basic economics principle, please just keep quiet. Your comment sounds geriatric. Basic secondary school economics should make you know that you pump money into key sectors to reflate the economy. Our external reserve is $27 billion dollars yet the nation’s infrastructure gap stands at $2 trillion dollars, where do you get the means to improve the economy if we do not borrow. The most important thing is to borrow for capital projects and not for expenditure or importation of consumable goods.

          • Powerlessconscious

            Lol. Uncle. Most of the PDP products are illiterate to basic economics. They are only agitators. Nothing more.

          • Mufu Ola

            Read my comment again & understand it. I’m not against borrowing.What I wrote in simply language is we’re borrowing to spend out of recession bcos we don’t have d money in d first case.

    • Coocotin

      Why didn’t you advise Buhari with this comment while he was alive?

      • El Patron

        I presume you were the one that killed him?

  • Michael

    Watch how they will import slow second hand locomotives which will cost double the price of the high speed trains that exist in China, and Nigeria will accept it, and fat ugly ministers and government officials will pocket the difference, and mumu Nigerians will clap for them.

    • Rommel

      We are in a new phase of Nigeria’s development,forget those nonsense that Dumbo was doing deceiving himself and gullible Nigerians,what the honorable Amaechi is saying is about building a functional rail sector that works not some propaganda.

    • Ajayi Ifayemi

      That was in a different era. New times are here, believe it or not.

      • Michael

        Keep living in cloud cuckoo land.

    • Powerlessconscious

      That was the system you have been used to. The PDP system. It is not your fault.

  • westman

    But this train in picture is not the type of train would like to see when they eventually finish the project.
    Anyway,Unbelievable! When people complain they have registered in ultimate cycler for wks without getting paid I wonder. In our group of ultimate cyclers which is the best in Nigeria, people register today with 12,500 and get paid 50k in 5days. A lady who registered 4days ago got paid 50k yesterday &she is now in level 2 for #100k. If u want to make quick good cash with us join now. Whatsapp +2348063667191

  • marc umeh

    This is good news but I am still waiting for rail to be connected to the SE. Afterall they are the most mobile segment of the nation

    • El Patron

      Calabar-Lagos is supposed to connect SE

    • PolyGon2013

      Apparently, their leaders are dumb. Do they have governors and legislators?

    • Mufu Ola

      What happened to d airport at Asaba? Igbos sabotaged it. They would rather travel by “luxurious” buses than any other.

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  • Charlie

    It was the great Bob Marley that says “emancipate yourself from mental slavery, only ourselves can free our minds”. You can not buy development, except to achieve it yourself. How many projects have been built by foreigner for us… from refineries to power plants? And how many have brought long term development or sustained economic prosperity? Another question for all of you celebrating (instead of crying for)this nonsense to answer is: who did the Chinese, the Germans or Indians called to build their infrastructure for them? Our destiny as a nation is in our hands. If we don’t start doing things for ourselves the we should be ready to remain underdeveloped forever. No shortcuts.

    • Baba B

      I am shocked you had to repeat your ignorance and stupidity twice. Suffice it to say that you are suggesting the Central Bank starts printing money to execute these projects because what this article is clearly saying is that the Federal Government is seeking approval to negotiate loan to execute these projects. Lets assume for the sake of argument that you digressed from the topic, are you aware that most countries of this world outside Europe and America depend on others for their infrastructure development? And this include Saudi Arabia, UAE and even the Chinese people whose most of their infrastructure where actually designed by Europeans and Americans until they started lately to do same.

      • Charlie

        Honestly you deserve to be abused and insulted but I refused to trade insult with you. Where did you find in my comments that CBN should be printing money? Although it may not be a bad idea for CBN to be printing money for projects, if they are done by Nigerian companies, it is a much better alternative than to being indebted to the Chinese in hard currency, stimulating their economy and creating employment for their nationals at the expense of our own. In the main while, many of our youths are joining insurgency groups such as Boko Haram and kidnapping gangs because they have no jobs, all they have is hopelessness and bleak futures. If you give me 100,000 able bodied youth, I promise you, I will complete a new railroad from Kano to Lagos in one year for less than what the Nigerian government is borrowing from the Chinese.
        Nigerian owned companies and Nigerian engineers are involved in more technically challenging projects than a railroad all over America…. from underwater tunnels to airport runways. It is kind of silly to compare Nigeria with Saudi Arabia and UAE for the mere fact that the revenue those two countries derive from their investments of their sovereign funds is more than ten times what Nigeria gets from oil when oil price was at its peak. Apart from the fact that Nigeria has a population of about 170 million people as oppose to a combine population of about 40 million for both countries. The citizens of those countries are way more involved with their infrastructural projects than you are giving them credit for. For the record, your contention that western countries developed China’s infrastructure is not factual but a figment of your imagination. That does not mean there are no international collaboration everywhere in the world including America when it comes to construction, but no nation with any aspiration for greatness will do thing the way we do in Nigeria.

    • emmanuel

      My brother I feel your frustration but the truth is that as long as you have Nigeria with its present composition, nothing will change. What do you expect when a brain dead failure like Buhari who was not even smart enough to pass Secondary School exams becomes your President. Take a look at all countries of the world including African countries and examine the kind of men and Women becoming Presidents and Vice presidents. Just google their profile and see 4urself. Nigeria is the only country in Africa with a man so dull like Buhari. No inspiration in anything he does or says. Laggard, hollow and shallow in everything including bodily health and unfortunately this lack luster docile Trade Mark of his is rapidly becoming pervasively infectious.

      The useless politicians will prefer foreigners because that is where crooks like Amaechi can inflate contract prices and get kicks from back, side, front and anywhere possible. The other day the Minister of Mines or whatever (So called Dr Fayemi) held a press conference to announce that he has discovered a Solid Mineral in Nigeria and was contracting Australians to take on the Project. Ostensibly Fayemi was taking credit for such pedestrian action (literarily handing over our resources to Australians) and he wanted Nigerians to applaud him. It shows how much mumudity flows in the brains of these politicians however educated.

      There was one question Fayemi would not ask himself – Are Nigerians capable of learning that technology the Australians have? And will Nigerians be able to explore, mine, refine and Market their natural resources 100% should they acquire the technology? Unfortunately, Fayemi must quickly award the contracts to Australians so that he can get his billions of Dollars as bribe …and then go to buy an estate in Ekiti, Abuja and Lagos or America or Canary Islands. It is how far his miserable eyes can see. BUT 99.9% of shouldren who visit this forum have no idea how stewpid such an action Dr Fayemi is…and this is the tragedy of the Nigerian situation. SOLUTION ? De-amalgamation!!!

      • Charlie

        True true. I agree with you 99%, though I don’t think the problem of Nigeria is ethnic, but parasitic and ignorant leaders in every region of the country. An average Northerner is as marginalized as an average Niger Deltan. The only people benefiting from Nigeria are the elites and they all flock together.

      • Powerlessconscious

        You are not reasonable at all. You don’t need to abuse the president before you make your comment. If it is by highly educated, did we not have PhD gej? How has he done according to your opinion. After reading your second line of statement, I knew you are not here to give meaningful contribution. If you are call to an open conference, will you make that kind of dirty statement?
        Apart from this, OVERALL, you DID NOT make any meaning contribution but only full of abuse, insult and agitation.

    • joe

      The reality is that,we have not gotten there. We are not develpped technologically and knowledge-wise to undertake such projects independently. You have to firstly realize that, then we can start talking about how to get there. Are we going to get there with university students busy doing “acting big men” during the semester and cheating during the exams? Or having a government(judiciary, legislature and the executive ) that are filled with worst of the criminals??

  • Charlie

    It was the great Bob Marley that says “emancipate yourself from mental slavery, only ourselves can free our minds”. You can not buy development, except to achieve it yourself. How many projects have been built by foreigners for us… from refineries to power plants? And how many have brought long term development or sustained economic prosperity? Another question for all of you celebrating (instead of crying for) this nonsense to answer is: who did the Chinese, the Germans or Indians called to build their infrastructure for them? Our destiny as a nation is in our hands. If we don’t start doing things for ourselves, then we should be ready to remain underdeveloped forever. No shortcuts.

    • Powerlessconscious

      What technology do you have? What manufacturing industry do you have? Is your suggestion not going to take longer time? Whereas there is crying in the country already for long approach of the government to bring permanent solutions to challenges in the country.

      • Charlie

        Because you don’t know what we are capable of doing does not mean we have no capability. For example America invited Nigeria as one of the nuclear capable countries even though our own government did not know we are nuclear capable. You may ask how did America know? They know how many world class Nigerian nuclear physicists and engineers live in the US.

        • Powerlessconscious

          Your suggestion is good but will take a long time. Nigeria can not wait for too much long again. We can call for help while we focus on developing our own at the same time.

      • Epsilon_Delta

        Your so called “shortcut” to development will only bring more misery. We don’t have the industries because of our “shortcut” mentality. Are the Chinese gonna build MAGLEV or ATV for us? They will build the same century old rail which we can actually build ourselves!

  • Efe from WARRI

    …and the RESOURCES from the NIGER DELTA will be used to repay the loan while the evil regime of Buhari says there is no money to begin the Maritime University in Delta State.

    Niger Delta AVENGERS, MEND and all freedom fighting comrades, it will be treason for you to remain silent in these times of injustice against the people of Niger Delta by the Nigerian Govt as supported by the mischievous UK government and the US govt led by Obama and his predecessors. We therefore expect you to act proportionately because we (the Niger Delta people) believe that we are not allergic to infrastructural development like rails and bridges across our numerous waterways.

    • Nathan D. Satan

      Honestly, I do not understand why you need infrastructure in the Niger Delta because you are neither the West nor the North.
      I mean, what good is that going to do you?

    • El Patron

      Efe from Warri you couldn’t be more wrong. If the oil money is being used to develop the entire country then there’s nothing wrong with that. Tomorrow oil may be worthless and we may have to depend on others who have steel, gold etc. This na me get am attitude must stop. By the way i am a proud Urhobo man, born and brought up in Warri too, so dont presume you know Niger Delta politics more than me. Can you imagine if the Niger delta is in control of 100% of our resources? Do you think you will see anything? In fact i can argue that we will be worse off for it. I support self determination 100% but not now. Let Nigeria get on the right track first and lets ensure that government is transparent and corrupt free. Imagine if Delta state had full control of her oil revenue. At the end of the day its the same cabal of Ibori, Okowa, Tompolo etc that will monopolize all the oil blocs and we the people will still be left in abject poverty. If Buhari can use the oil money to do things that no other President has done then i will gladly support him

    • Francis

      You are right. The treatment (neglect) of the Niger Delta is provocative. Would the North have tolerated this usage of their resources elswhere going by the way they kill people just to allow their Cows to graze?

  • CeeCee1818

    China owns Africa, our grandkids and their grandkids will be paying for our foolishness.