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Nigerian govt is applying for another $5.3b, $3b Chinese loan – Amaechi

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ROTIMI Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation has disclosed that the Nigerian government has applied for a $5.3 billion loan and also in the process of applying for another N3 billion loan from the Chinese Government.

The Minister who disclosed this while speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Tuesday, said that the $5.3 billion loan will be used to execute the rail from Ibadan to Kano, while the $3 billion loan is planned to be used in executing the rail from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri.

“The reason why I said that is because we have already applied for $5.3 billion to execute the rail from Ibadan to Kano. We are about applying for about $3 billion to execute the rail from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri,” Amaechi revealed.

Nigeria is still in the process of clearing the $500 million Chinese loan borrowed for infrastructural projects.

According to the Minister, the country has already paid up to $98 million and is still owing over $400 million.

Despite the country’s growing debts, he said that Nigeria is only able to successfully embark on infrastructural projects because of available loans, adding that the country’s only challenge is its debt to revenue ratio.

However, there has been public outcry over the rising debt profile of the country.

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Controversy has trailed the conditions in which these loans are obtained, including a much-debated ‘wave of sovereignty’ clause that exits in the $500 million loan agreement between Nigeria and China.

But Amaechi has maintained that such clauses are natural developments in any business transactions between two countries.

“It’s a standard clause, whether it’s with America you signed it or with Britain or any country, because they want to know they can recover their money. What the clause does is to say to you, I expect you to pay according to those terms and conditions. If you don’t pay, don’t waive your immunity on me (the lender) when I come to collect back what is the guarantee you put forward,” the Minister had earlier stated.

According to the Debt Management Office (DMO),  between 2010 and March 31, 2020, Nigeria Government has taken 11 loan facilities from the China Exim Bank.

Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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