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
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
It will create about 200 000 jobs.
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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
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