The Federal Government has secured $1.5 billion (about N450 billion) counterpart funding from China for the Lagos-Ibadan rail project set to commence in March.
The Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, made the disclosurewhen he appeared before the Gbenga Ashafa-led Senate committee on land transport to give report of his ministry’s 2016 budget and defend the proposal for 2017.
“In the first quarter of 2017, the foundation of the Lagos-Ibadan segment two of the Lagos-Kano rail project will be laid,” said Mr. Amaechi; adding that, “the implication here is that we will start the Lagos-Ibadan rail line before the end of March.
“Our target is to commence from the Apapa seaport down to Ogun and then to Ibadan.”
Lagos-Ibadan rail line is a segment of the Lagos-Kano railway project, one of the most important and ambitious infrastructural targets of the Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress government.
In January, the government announced wholesale release of N72 billion as Nigeria’s counterpart funding for the Lagos-Ibadan railway.
Mr. Amaechi explained to the senators that the $1.5 billion counterpart funding had been approved by China and was being processed by the China Exim Bank.
“The counterpart funding is ready, but don’t forget that we are borrowing the money from China. The China Exim Bank is processing it.