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Buhari Seeks National Assembly’s Approval To Take $6.9bn Loan

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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BEVERLY HILLS, April 26, (THEWILL) – President Muhammadu Buhari has sought the approval of the National Assembly to allow his government borrow $6.9bn for infrastructural development. 

In a letter which the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, read out on Wednesday, the President pleaded with the lawmakers to endorse the loan on time in order to enable the country access the China-African fund provided for in the 2016-2018 external borrowing plan.

While disclosing that $5.8bn would be borrowed from the Chinese Exim bank for the repair of the railway transport sector, he added that $1.1bn would be taken from the World Bank for the North East geopolitical zone and social security programme of his administration. 

Buhari stated that the fund was limited and applications from all over the continent are funded on first come, first serve basis.

He explained that these projects form part of the overall plan to resuscitate the rail transport across the country and drive economic growth.

“I wish to refer to my earlier letter with respect to the above subject and to inform the distinguished senate that the China Exim bank has approved our request for a loan to execute the Lagos-Kano railway modernisation project, Lagos-Ibadan segment for a sum of $1.231 billion.

“The China government has also informed us that the approval of the Lagos-Kano railway modernisation project, Kano-Kaduna segment and coastal railway project, the Lagos-Calabar segment are imminent.

“China Exim supported projects; Lagos-Kano modernisation projects, Lagos-Ibadan segment $1.231 billion; Lagos-Kano railway modernisation project, Kano-Kaduna segment $1.146 billion and coastal railway project, the Lagos-Calabar segment 3.474 billion, making a total of 5.851 billion.

“As you are aware the funds available under the China-African fund are limited and loan applications from all over Africa countries are funded based on first come, first serve and therefore there is an urgent need to sign these loans as soon as they are approved or we may loose out in the event that we delayed in signing the loan agreement.

“These loans form part of the overall money for the rail strategy. We are in the process of completing the concession of the port Harcourt Maiduguri line to immediately link the eastern part of the nation.

“We fully intend to source further concessioning funding to ultimately upgrade this critical line to high speed standard gauge. These projects form the overall plan to resuscitate the rail transport across the nation and thereby drive inclusive growth,” the letter read.