The Federal government is currently negotiating a loan of about $6 billion with China for the construction of the Ibadan-Kano rail line, the Minister of Transportation has said.
The Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, who disclosed this at an interactive session with journalists in Abuja yesterday, said “we are currently in negotiations with the China Exim Bank to get about $6 billion to do (rail lines) from Ibadan to Kano. It is a difficult decision. Why is it difficult? The money required is about $8 billion to do a double track but the Chinese are insisting that they can’t fund the double track.
“They are asking us to do a single track and they want it at Minna so that instead of going from Minna to Kaduna, we should go from Minna to Abuja and then join it from Abuja to Kaduna.”
He added, “But there are those who argue that we should not accept that, rather we should tell them (Chinese) to fund it in segments. This, however, does not make economic sense.”
The minister also said that $195 million has been approved for the waterways security expressed confidence that it would help reduce crime in the maritime sector.
“The Federal Government has approved the sum of $195 million to hire an Israeli company to help train our security personnel to help man our water ways. “Currently there are criminal activities in our waterways which has made it that in some parts of the country, people charge what they call war insurance. War insurance means that you go to an area where there is (seems to be) war, but you know that there is no war there.
“But in such areas criminal activities are taking place in the water ways. So with the approval, after we’ve put the processes in place, we will ensure that there is security on our waters,”Amaechi said.