Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has appealed to the National Assembly to approve the $5.3 billion loan request from China to enable the government to execute the Ibadan-Kano Standard Gauge rail line.
The minister, who spoke today, August 15, at the construction site of the Ibadan Train Station, after a joint inspection of the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Rail Project with his Transportation Counterpart, minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that $1.6 billion is being expended on the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge rail line and the stations, with $200-$300 million counterpart funds from the Federal Government.
The ministers had inspected the gigantic Ebute Meta Railway Station Building and yard construction work; Apapa Railway Station; Dockyard Station as well as Agege; Kajola; Papalanto; Abeokuta and Ibadan Train Stations, which are at various stages of completion.
This was as the information minister made it clear that the loans being taken from China and elsewhere, are being utilized for infrastructural development to create jobs and provide the basis for economic development.
“There is no better way to answer Nigerians as to what we have done with the money we have borrowed than this trip.”
Lai Mohammed said that there is nothing bad in borrowing, provided the funds are invested in infrastructure rather than services or consumption.
“We didn’t borrow money for services or overhead expenditure. We borrowed money for capital projects: rail; roads; bridges; power – infrastructure generally.”