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Amaechi pleads with NASS to halt questioning of loan agreement with China

Amaechi wants the National Assembly to allow Nigeria to get the $5.3 billion loan from China.

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The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has pleaded with the National Assembly to stop questioning the nation’s loan agreement with China.

This was disclosed in an interview on Channels TV on Saturday. According to the minister,  questions from the lawmakers may deter China from extending credit to the country, especially the $5.3  billion required for the Ibadan-Kano railway project. He said:

“They are not investigating corruption in construction. We want the National Assembly to allow us to get the loan for Ibadan to Kano, which is about $5.3bn.”

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$5.3  billion loan for the Ibadan-Kano railway

On the pending loan, the minister said, “If you are telling the man who lent you money you don’t like the way he lent you, he won’t lend you any further.

“For this one (Lagos-Ibadan rail project), we have $1.6bn for which we are contributing about $200 and $300 million. But don’t forget, they have not finished paying, they can stop at any time.”

The House of Representatives had raised an alarm about the nature of loans received from China which, it said, puts the country’s sovereignty into question in the case of a re-payment default.

In all, Amaechi insisted the loans, which are primarily spent on capital projects built by Chinese companies, will benefit the country.

READ MORE: Telegram agrees to settle with SEC over $1.7 billion ‘unlawful’ digital coins 

The Backstory: Last month, Nairametrics reported when Amaechi argued that the probe into Nigeria’s use of foreign loans to finance infrastructure projects could negatively affect how foreign lenders perceive the country. And by extension, this could affect infrastructure projects in Nigeria, should such lenders choose to withdraw their loan offers.

READ MORE: FG announces Ibadan–Kano Rail Project would begin First Quarter 2020 

The Minister stated this at a hearing with the House of Representatives Committee on Treaties, Protocols, and Agreements in Abuja. He was invited to the hearing by the legislators to offer more clarity on the $500 million loans from China’s Export-Import Bank which Nigeria is seeking for railway construction and other projects.

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While responding to the lawmakers, Amaechi asked that the probe be postponed until December after the loan must have been received. However, the House Committee made it clear that it can conduct probes/reviews on Nigeria’s bilateral loan agreements anytime.

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Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper.The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference.The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Dome

    August 16, 2020 at 9:29 am

    Is this man delusional this is crazy we are selling the country to China
    He keeps on pleading on behalf of China he needs to be investigated too
    I dont get why Nigeria cannot seek finance elsewhere
    Chinese are using their wealth to take over Africa and these stupid man and the government are watching
    Nigerians especially the assembly must question this unfortunately not sure how intelligent the lawyers are they are probably bribed and will sign anything
    Africa is a pathetic story the Zambians mineral resources all in the hands of the Chinese as they struggle with the loans

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