FG mulls Chinese, Portuguese loans to complete railways

According to Transport Minister Mu’azu Sambo, the federal government is seeking multi billion-dollar loans from Chinese, Portuguese, and Turkish financial institutions to complete ongoing rail projects across the country.

On Thursday, Sambo made this statement to the Joint National Assembly Committee on Land and Marine Transport, which is chaired by Senator Danjuma Goje.

He stated that the ministry was committed to carrying out the Nigeria Railway Modernization Project.

He stated that the railway network was being gradually expanded through yearly budgetary appropriations because the Federal Government was having difficulty obtaining counterpart funding through loans.

“Currently, the implementation of the Kaduna-Kano, Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, and Kano-Maradi Railway Modernization Segments is ongoing, with the Federal Government counterpart funding in the 2022 appropriation,” the Minister said.

“The Ministry hopes that the Federal Ministry of Finance will complete loan negotiations with infrastructure development finance institutions of Chinese, Portuguese, and Turkish origin in order to carry out the projects.”

“In order to ensure the finalization and signing of loan agreements, evidence of the source of funding for the balance of the advance payment and other aspects of work to be financed directly by the Federal Government must be made available to these financial institutions through adequate budgetary provisions in the fiscal year 2023 and subsequent budgets.”

He also stated that the Lagos-Ibadan segment of the Lagos-Kano and Itakpe-Warri railway projects was fully operational and receiving public support.

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