China EXIM bank funding saves Lagos-Kano rail plans
22 January 2010
Nigeria is hoping for the effective drawdown of a $500 million (£310.6 million) concessional loan from China Exim bank to kick-start the Lagos-Kano railway rehabilitation project.
Finance minister Mansur Muhtar said that phase one of the Nigeria Railway Modernisation Project is ready to be given new impetus following the visit of representative delegates and will hopefully be able to begin by the end of February.
He pointed out that the meeting follows all the prerequisites for drawdown - provision of the counterpart funding from the government, submission of the feasibility report and environmental impact assessment, and contractual agreement for the project.
The head of the Chinese delegation, deputy chief inspector of China Exim Bank Yi Zong Hua, said if all grey areas were effectively found to be cleared up during the visit, the February drawdown deadline should be no problem.
Governor of Jijawa state Alhaji Sule Lamido was recently quoted by the Daily Triumph as saying the rehabilitation of the Lagos-Kano line would be one of the crowning jewels in Umaru Musa Yar'adua's presidential legacy.