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China envisaged to fund stalled Nigeria projects

03 December 2015, 09:36Augustine Osayande

Abuja - Rail and power projects will again dominate the agenda when President Muhammadu Buhari meets his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, later this week.

The two leaders will be in South Africa for the Forum on China/Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) scheduled for Johannesburg on Friday and Saturday.

Garba Shehu Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, said the forum would enable Buhari follow up his meeting, which took place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in November in New York, with the Chinese leader.

“President Buhari had indicated to Xi Jinping at the bilateral meeting in New York that he wanted China to re-commence stalled rail projects under new terms that would see China providing nearly all the financing required,” said Shehu.

He said of particular interest was the coastal railway project stretching for 1 402 kilometers linking Lagos in the west with Calabar in the east.

China is expected to finance the project to the tune of US$12 billion.

It will create about 200 000 jobs.

Also Read: Global phone maker expands Nigeria mobile money

Another rail project that will be up for renegotiation is the $8,3 billion Lagos-Kano standard gauge modernisation project, of which only a segment, the Kaduna-Abuja has reached completion stage.

Shehu said Buhari was also expected to discuss ways of removing all obstacles in the way of the 3 050 MW Mambila Power Station.

Considered a strategic project, it was conceived in 1982 but has not taken off.

Shehu said the Chinese President had informed Buhari of the willingness of his country to finance the whole project through a special loan agreement.

Buhari will arrive in South Africa on Thursday.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema; Minister of Transportation, Chubuike Amaechi, and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, will accompany him.

They will return to Abuja on Saturday. 

- CAJ News


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