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Buhari, Amaechi to meet Xi over Nigerian rails

Buhari, Amaechi to meet Xi over Nigerian rails
December 02
17:06 2015

President Muhammadu Buhari, Rotimi Amaechi, the minister for transportation will be in South Africa on Thursday to participate in the Forum on China/Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) with plans to revive Nigerian rails.

At the forum, taking place in Johannesburg, from December 4-5, Buhari will follow up his discussion with the Chinese leader during November’s United Nations General Assembly in New York.

According to Garba Shehu, special assistant on media and publicity to the president, Buhari wants Xi Jinping, the Chinese president to re-commence stalled rail projects under new terms that would see China providing nearly all the financing required.

“Of particular interest is the coastal railway project stretching for 1,402 kilometers linking Lagos in the South West with Calabar in the South-South, a project that is expected to be financed with $12 billion Chinese loan and create about 200,000 jobs,” Shehu said in a statement.

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“Another rail project that will be up for renegotiation is the $8.3bn Lagos-Kano standard gauge modernization project, of which only a segment, Kaduna-Abuja, has reached completion stage.”

Buhari is also expected to discuss how to remove all obstacles in the way of the 3,050MW Mambila Power Station, a strategic project that was conceived in 1982 but is yet to take off.

Shehu added that the Chinese president had informed Buhari about his country’s willingness to finance the project through a special loan agreement.

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The president, who will be accompanied on the trip by the minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyema and the minister of industry, trade and investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, will return to Abuja on Saturday, December 5.

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