Thursday, 27 April 2017

Buhari seeks senate's approval to borrow $6.9bn from China, World Bank

President Muhammadu Buhari is seeking senate's approval for a proposal to borrow $5.85 billion from China to modernise its rail network and another $1.075 billion from the World Bank to help rebuild the insurgency-torn northeast.

Buhari urged parliament in a letter to approve the railway borrowing because China has a limit on funds available from its China Africa Fund. The president wants to sign loan agreements as soon as China approves the project.

"These loans form part of the overall money for the rail strategy," Buhari said in the letter. The loans are part of the government's 2016-2018 foreign borrowing plan, he said.

Buhari also asked lawmakers to also approve a $1.075 billion loan to help rebuild the northeast, which has been ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency, and to expand support to the poor in Nigeria.

"There is need for urgent consideration of the identified projects, which will enable us to start reconstruction and rehabilitation of the region in other to create jobs ... and rehabilitate the schools," he said.

China Exim bank has approved a $1.231 billion loan to modernise the rail network linking the commercial hub of Lagos in the south to the industrial city of Kano in the north and also a Lagos to Ibadan segment, the letter read.

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