Chinese Loans: Drama as Amaechi, Reps disagree over rail project contract


The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has disagreed with members of the House of Representatives over contracts awarded by his Ministry.

POLITICS NIGERIA reports that Ameachi appeared before the House Committee on Committee on Treaties, Protocols and Agreements on Monday to shed more light on Nigeria’s external borrowings from China.

It was also learned that the committee also wants to know the number of Nigerians and Chinese involved in the Federal Government rail project.

Speaking during the hearing in Abuja, Amaechi disagreed with the committee that his ministry awarded a N33 billion rail project contract. He explained that his ministry only awarded a $1.6 billion contract.

Amaechi and the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai openly disagreed on the content of the Chinese loan and other procedures for its execution.

The minister noted that the Lagos/Calabar rail line will not be possible because the lawmakers are probing the loan which has not been secured for the project, adding that at the moment, there was no contract because there was no loan.

He accused the committee of being political, adding that the probe would send a wrong signal to China, which could stop the loans, thereby affecting the nation’s rail projects.

Also expected to appear before the committee are Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami; Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman; and Director-General of the Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha, among others.

More to come…

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