FG Has Paid China $150m Out Of $2bn Loan Under Buhari- Amaechi

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said that $150m out of the $2bn borrowed from China for rail construction has been repaid by the Federal Government.

Amaechi made the disclosure on Wednesday on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’.

Nigeria’s President,  Muhammadu Buhari, has been criticised for his penchant borrowings from China.

The 156-kilometer Lagos-Ibadan railway costs $1.5bn and it is funded by a $1.3bn loan from the Export-Import Bank of China and about $182m from the Nigerian government.

China is yet to release the loan of $5.3bn, which is needed to extend the railway from Ibadan in the country’s south to Kano.

The Abuja- Kano railway was valued $1.5bn with $500m borrowed from China under Goodluck Jonathan. This sums to over $7.1bn for the three lines alone.

Amaechi admitted on Channels TV that borrowing from China under this administration was for the Kaduna-Abuja and the Lagos-Ibadan railways alone.

Amaechi said, “The right ministry to respond to that question is the Ministry of Finance; they borrow and they repay but I think the last I heard about it, it was between a $100m to $150m repayment that we have done so far in the Kaduna-Abuja.

“Don’t forget that we’ve not borrowed any money yet, the only money we borrowed is in the Kaduna-Abuja and Lagos-Ibadan. Lagos-Ibadan, what we borrowed is about $1.5bn though it has not matured for repayment, what has matured for repayment is the Kaduna-Abuja which is being repaid.

“Nigerians think we borrow so much but the only projects we have borrowed so far is the Kaduna-Abuja where we borrowed $500m and the Lagos-Ibadan where we borrowed $1.5bn. So, that brings the total loan exposure for us in the Ministry of Transport to about $2bn as far as railway is concerned.”

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