President Muhammadu Buhari has sought financial support from the President of China, Mr Xi Jinping, for Nigeria’s railway projects.
According to a statement by the senior special assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, of particular interest to the president is the coastal railway project stretching 1402 kilometres linking Lagos in the West with Calabar in the East, a project that is expected to be financed with $12 billion Chinese loan and which will create about 200,000 jobs.
“President Buhari had indicated to Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader 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,” Shehu said in the statement, in which he also announced that President Buhari will be in South Africa today to participate in the Forum on China/Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) holding in Johannesburg.
“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, Kaduna-Abuja has reached completion stage,” Shehu added.
Shehu said the President’s attendance at the FOCAC would follow up his meeting with the Chinese Leader Xi Jinping which took place in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in November.