By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA-Federal Government on Monday said that it has released N72billion being the full counterpart funding for the construction of Lagos-Ibadan modernization railway project.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed this while speaking at the second quarterly Presidential Business Forum in Abuja, presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
Amaechi also appealed to the National Assembly to approve the Federal Government’s request to obtain
N30billion dollars foreign loans, saying it would speed up the development of the country.
He said: “The construction of Lagos-Ibadan Railway, the Minister has been kind enough to release the counterpart funding in full.
“I think in the history of Nigeria, this is first time that we are releasing counterpart funds in full so that there will be no delay since the Chinese loan appears to have been approved.
“The only thing we need to do, I thank God there is somebody from the National Assembly, is to plead with the National Assembly that the funds have been approved, then the National Assembly should please approve the 30billion dollars loan.
“If you don’t encourage the National Assembly to make that approval, then, the economy won’t be making the kind of progress we want the economy to make.
“So, for me here, I will enjoin to persuade the National Assembly to kindly make that approval because they are tied to projects,’’ he said.
It will be recalled that railway project, which has been awarded to the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, is to be jointly funded by the Nigerian and Chinese governments.
The project scheduled to start next month would cost about $1.5bn (N458bn).