In a statement by the Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amechi, the Chinese government has granted $1.5billion to Nigeria for the construction of rail roads from Lagos to Ibadan.He said “we would have started but we were not able to because we were waiting for the National Assembly to approve the loan. I appeal to Nigerians to beg the National Assembly to approve the money for us”. This he called Citizen Engagement. He continued “I can never disrespect the National Assembly but all I’m begging is that the delay in approving the loan application is offsetting the Ministry”.
Meanwhile, the Senate Sommittee on Land and Transport through their Chairman Senator Gbenga Ashafa affirmed to the ministry that the initial $6billion loan for the railway projects will be approved. In his words, “the Minister for Transportation has followed the procedure to the level that reminds us that the completion of that procedure and the budget have become intertwined. I’m sure you will agree with me that the eight sessions of the senate piloted by the Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki and his able leadership have been in partnership with this government”. This he said, considering repeated requests to the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly from the Minister of Transportation Rotimi Chibuike Amechi for the endorsement of the loan that would aid in the execution of the three rail road projects that include Lagos to Ibadan, Kano to Kaduna and Calabar to Port Harcourt railways.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Land and Transport vented further when he explicated the economic values of employment the 186 kilometer rail road would proffer, hence, his feeling; that the employment will be one of the best ways to come out of recession when money trickles down to the masses through salaries to the railway workers.
Additionally, the Chairman reinstated “we are the same APC government, whether you call it Change or Progress, all are same. We are all in the platform to ensure that the people with the power survive, and part of that survival is this $30 billion loan. My assurance is that it is going to be considered and approved”.