A $3.9 billion deal has been reached between the Federal Government (FG) and a Chinese firm to construct a railway from Itakpe to Abuja and a seaport in Warri.
The Details: The construction is expected to be funded via a Public-Private Partnership (PPP). Nigeria will contribute 15% to cover the project, the China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) will contribute 10% while the remaining 75% will be borrowed through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).
For the 75% loan to be serviced, CRCC would manage the rail for 30 years before the Federal Government gets back full control.
[READ MORE: NNPC, CPDC sign $875.75 million deal]
Why PPP was adopted: Giving further insights into the deal, Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation explained that the PPP agreement was adopted to avoid accumulation of debts.
He gave this disclosure when the agreement was signed for both projects between the Federal Government and a delegation from CRCC led by its Vice President, Wang Wenzhong.
“The signing ceremony that we have today is the first PPP railway agreement for Abuja- Itakpe or Abuja-Baru-Itakpe and Lokoja and it is between Nigeria and CRCC. The agreement is to be 15% Nigeria equity and 10percent CRCC equity and then we will borrow 75% as SPV from the Chinese bank.
“We will give them sovereign guarantee and they will give us performance bond that protects our sovereign guarantee. When they finish construction, they will manage for 30 years. When they recover their money, the ownership of the asset will revert back to the government of Nigeria. The 15% covered by us will be paid gradually.
“The entire railway for now in Nigeria is constructed 100 by CRCC. I think that the good working relationship we have had with CRCC is the reason we have not been able to engage other companies.”
The Minister also asked the Chinese firm to transfer their construction knowledge to Nigerian engineers in a bid to help them build capacity.
“We need you to work with us to develop the knowledge of Nigerians and that is why we emphasized on the universities we are asking you to build. We are expecting that not only will you build, but you will also provide us with lecturers until we can train our own lecturers.”
He noted that several railway activities were handled by Chinese firms. Some of the examples he cited are the Abuja-Kaduna railway constructed by the CCECC and the Lagos-Ibadan rail project which is under construction.
Updated: President Buhari appoints new Service Chiefs
President Buhari has appointed new Service Chiefs to replace the former with immediate effect.
President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed new Military Service Chiefs, and congratulated the outgoing Service Chiefs for efforts of “enduring peace to the country.”
The appointments was disclosed by Presidential media aide, Femi Adesina in a social media post on Tuesday.
Adesina said: “PMB appoints new Service Chiefs. Maj Gen LEO Irabor, CDS, Maj Gen I Attahiru, Army, Rear Adm AZ Gambo, Navy, AVM IO Amao, Air Force. He congratulates outgoing Service Chiefs on efforts to bring enduring peace to the country.”
President Buhari had come under heavy criticism in the last couple of years over his failure to sack the Service Chiefs for failing to tackle insecurity in the country.
“I have accepted the immediate resignation of the Service Chiefs, and their retirement from service. I thank them all for their overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to Nigeria, and wish them well in their future endeavours,” Buhari disclosed in a separate statement.
I have also appointed new Service Chiefs, to replace the retired officers:
Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff
Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff
Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff
Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) January 26, 2021
What you should know: The outgoing Service Chiefs were appointed by President Buhari in 2015 and despite clamour from several quarters for the President to replace them with fresh blood, nothing happened until today’s announcement.
BREAKING: CBN retains MPR at 11.5%, holds other parameters constant
The CBN voted unanimously to keep the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), at 11.5% and other parameters constant.
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has voted unanimously to retain the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 11.5%
This was disclosed by Governor, CBN, Godwin Emefiele while reading the communique at the end of the MPC meeting on Tuesday 26th January 2021.
Other parameters such as Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), Liquidity ratio, and asymmetric corridor remain unchanged.
Highlights of the Committee’s decision
- MPR retained at 11.50%
- The asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR
- CRR was retained at 27.5%
- While Liquidity Ratio was also kept at 30%
More details shortly…
FG says N10 billion disbursed funds not only for Covid-19 vaccines
FG has clarified that the N10 billion it earlier disbursed was not only for the development of Covid-19 vaccines.
The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning has said that the N10 billion it released for vaccine development is not only for the production of Covid-19 vaccines.
This was disclosed by the Director-General of the Budget Office, Mr. Ben Akabueze, representing the Finance Minister during a meeting with the National Assembly Joint Committee on Health on Monday, reported by NTA.
Following the announcement of the disbursement of the sum of N10 billion to the Ministry of Health for the development of Covid-19 vaccine, the Joint Committee scheduled a meeting with the Ministers of Finance and Health for clarifications on the funds.
“The joint committee is invited to note that N10 billion has been released, to the Federal Ministry of Health under the budgetary vote referenced in above,” Akabueze said.
Ibrahim Oloriegbe, Chairman, Senate Committee on health, said the Committee wanted to know what the use of the funds was for and urged against the implementation of a lockdown.
“We got to see that what was released was in line with what was already there, for preparing the country for all other vaccines arrangements
“So our economy, we only need to live with covid, we cannot with due respect, contaminate Nigeria with a lockdown, it will badly affect our economy,” Oloriegbe said.
The committee also said the total aim is to see how Nigeria can develop its capacity towards the development of vaccines,
The Joint Committee, therefore, resolved that the Minister of Health who was absent at the meeting should appear before it on Tuesday for a breakdown on the proposed use of the funds.
What you should know: Nairametrics reported last week that the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Finance, announced the sum of N10billion for the production of vaccines in Nigeria, to fight the coronavirus.