By FIDELIS UGBOMEH, Lagos
The senate committees on local and foreign debts and land transport has enjoined the federal government to release the balance of 12 billion naira required as counterpart funding so as to enhance signing of agreement with Exim bank of China for the Lagos to Ibadan standard gauge railway project.
This is coming as the federal government has promised to release the balance of 12 billion naira of the project this week, having released 60 billion naira in April this year.
The signing of agreement between federal ministry of transport and Exim bank of China has become necessary so that the later will fulfill its obligation of providing 90% of the fund required to complete the $1.581dollar project.
Speaking at the over sight /inspection visit of the committee in Lagos, yesterday, the Chairman senate committee on local and foreign debts, Senator Shehu Sanni expressed satisfaction with the level of work so gar done by China Civil Engineering and Construction Company but that federal ministry of transport should release balance of 12 billion naira so as to commence documentation for the second phase of the modernization of rail lines from Ibadan to Kano.
He noted that the oversight visit is to ensure that the funds so far released is being utilized for the purpose it is meant for adding that if project meant to be funded through foreign loans obtained in the past were judiciously monitored, the country would not have been where it is today.
“The fact both committees are here signals the seriousness attached to the commencement and successful completion of this rail project by this 8th senate and indeed every project in the 2016-2018 external borrowing plan recently approved in the senate,” Senator Sani declared.
Senator Gbenga Ashafa, Chairman senate committee on land transport in his remarks said the focus of the committee to set in perspective commitment to ensuring a high level of accountability in public expenditure.
He explained further that the bulk of the committee s work concerns activities of federal ministry of transport and relevance stakeholders in the expenditure of the approved $5.851billion loan for modernization of Lagos to Kano,Kano to Kaduna and Calabar to Lagos rail segments.