The Federal Government is negotiating a mix of loans from Chinese and European lenders to fund the various railway projects in the country, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said on Friday. Amaechi said Standard Chartered had agreed to fund $3.02 billion for the ongoing Port Harcourt-to-Maiduguri railway project.
He had previously told Bloomberg that the government was in talks with Standard Chartered Plc to replace earlier plans to get loans from Chinese banks for two rail projects.
But Amaechi said they had always been seeking funding from any source available. “We are waiting for the Chinese for only Ibadan-to-Kano” railway, he said, adding, “If the Chinese don’t turn up in the next few months, why shouldn’t we approach the European banks to fund Ibadan to Kano? I will put that before the minister of finance.”
The Minister who spoke during a media chat organised by the Presidential Communication team on Friday, also said that the government also expects Credit Suisse to fund the Kano-to-Maradi line, which will connect northern states Kano, Jigawa and Katsina.
This came as the Minister has disclosed that the Kaduna-Kano rail would be inugurated in the next two weeks, adding that while the Federal Government is waiting for the Chinese loan to come it will go ahead with the funding of the project from the Federal budget.
He disclosed that while government has already committed over $100 million into the project, the total loan governments needs fir the project is N100 billion.
He further said that the 300 Nigerians being trained in rail technology in China would soon complete their studies and will be absorbed by the Federal Ministery of Transportation.