2023 Budget: We must get more loans from China, Portugal, Turkey, to complete rail projects ~FG tells NASS
The Federal Government of Muhammadu Buhari has on Thursday, decried to the National Assembly, that the possibility of completing the ongoing rail projects across the country would be with multi-billion dollar loans from financial institutions in China, Portugal and Turkey.
Buhari’s administration said it was committed to the implementation of the Nigeria railway modernisation project.
Addressing attendants on Thursday in Abuja, when he appeared before the Joint National Assembly Committee on Land and Marine Transport, chaired by Senator Danjuma Goje, All Progressives Congress, APC, Gombe Central, the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, said the railway network was being progressively expanded through yearly budgetary appropriations, since the Federal Government was facing challenges in securing counterpart funding through loans.
Sambo said: “Currently, the implementation of the Kaduna-Kano, Port Harcourt to Maiduguri and Kano – Maradi Segments of the Railway Modernization is ongoing with the Federal Government counterpart funding in the 2022 appropriation.
“The ministry hopes that the Federal Ministry of Finance concludes negotiation of the loans with infrastructure development finance institutions of the Chinese, Portuguese and Turkish origin to implement the projects.
“To ensure finalising and signing of the loan agreements, evidence of source of funding of the balance of the advance payment and other aspects of work to be financed directly by the Federal Government has to be made available to these financial institutions through adequate budgetary provisions in the year 2023 budget and subsequent budgets. “
Source reports that the minister explained that the Lagos-Ibadan segment of the Lagos-Kano and Itakpe to Warri railway projects are fully operational and receiving patronage from the general public.