Explain How $1bn Chinese Loan for Lagos-Kano Railway Was Diverted, Buhari Orders Finance Ministry

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Ministry of Finance to explain how $1.005 billion loan obtained from the Chinese Exim Bank for the construction of a standard gauge rail line linking Lagos to Kano  got diverted to other purposes.

Speaking on Monday, August 10, at the Presidential Villa after the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Alhaji Mohammed Bashar, made a presentation on the ministry, Buhari expressed disappointment over the discovery that foreign loans obtained in line with signed agreements were moved from one project to another.

“I hope that due process was followed before such diversions were carried out. Taking money from one project to another has to be done properly,” the president warned.

A statement by the president’s media aide, Garba Shehu, said the president issued the query while reacting to the specific instance of the diversion of a substantial part of the $1.005 billion loan from the Chinese Exim Bank obtained for the construction of the rail line from Lagos to Kano.

The permanent secretary had informed the president that only $400 million of that loan was still available at the Ministry of Finance.

The president regretted that government had over the years failed to meet its counterpart funding obligations on some projects, leading to their non-completion or abandonment, adding that there was a clear need to streamline, harmonise and prioritise ongoing projects in the transportation sector.

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By 9jatravel / Administrator, bbp_keymaster

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on Aug 14, 2015

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