The Federal Government has released N72 billion counterpart funding for the construction of Lagos-Ibadan modernisation railway project.
This revelation was brought to light by the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi at the quarterly Presidential Business Forum which was presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Banquet Hall, Abuja, on Monday.
He said the counterpart funding was released in full so that there will be no delay in the project implementation.
He also used the opportunity to appeal to the National Assembly to approve the $30bn foreign loan request.
He said, “The construction of Lagos-Ibadan Railway, the Minister of Finance has been kind enough to release the counterpart funding in full.
“I think in the history of Nigeria this is first time that we are releasing counterpart funds in full so that there will be no delay since the Chinese loan appears to have been approved.
“The only thing we need to do, I thank God there is somebody from the National Assembly, is to plead with the National Assembly that the funds has been approved, then the National Assembly should please approve the $30bn loan.
“If you don’t encourage the National Assembly to make that approval, then, the economy won’t be making the kind of progress we want the economy to make.
“So, for me here, I will enjoin to persuade the National Assembly to kindly make that approval because they are tied to projects.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Lagos-Ibadan rail project which was awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation would cost about 1.5 billion dollars (N458bn).