Nigeria to complete rail projects with $6.1 billion China Exim Bank loan

28 Mar 2017
Financial Nigeria


The Minister of Transportation said the projects will be completed on or before December 2019.

Nigerian Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi

Nigerian Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said on Monday that the federal government will borrow $6.1 billion (N1.87 trillion) from the Chinese Exim Bank to complete ongoing rail projects in Nigeria. The Minister disclosed this during the 2017 budget defence by the Ministry at the National Assembly.

According to Yetunde Sonaike, the Ministry of Transportation’s Director of Public Relations, the projects will be completed on or before December 2019 as mandated by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Our plan is to complete the rail projects in 2019. Once our borrowing plan of $6.1 billion 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,” Amaechi said.

The Minister said the 2017 total capital budget of the Ministry of Transportation is N234.74 billion, while the 2016 total capital budget for the Ministry of Transportation was N171.65 billion. Already N42 billion (or 24.5%) from the 2016 budget for the Ministry has been released.

Amaechi also said the government plans to deploy the capital allocation in the 2017 budget for construction of the Lagos–Ibadan, Kano–Kaduna rail projects and the first phase of the Coastal Rail from Lagos to Calabar. Other projects targeted in 2017 include the rehabilitation of the locomotive workshop, the rolling stock deport and provision of operational facilities for the Abuja–Kaduna Rail line. The remobilisation and resuscitation of the Central Rail line Project from Itakpe to Ajaokuta and to Warri in Delta State will also undergo construction works.

The Minister also listed important ongoing projects for 2016 such as the mainline and ancillary facilities with electric power supply and freight yards at Idu train station, Abuja and Rigasa station in Kaduna.

“The consequent effect of the implementation of this budget is to guarantee mass employment opportunities for Nigerians and to ensure wealth creation, more revenue generation and less pressure on the Nigerian roads,” Amaechi added.

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