An elated Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi said yesterday in Abuja that the Federal Government has releases N72bn as its counterpart funds for the construction of the Lagos –Ibadan railway line.
Speaking at the Second Presidential Business Forum, Chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, at the old banquet hall of the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock, Abuja, Amaechi, who could not hide his happiness because of what he described as commitment of the government to kick-start the project by paying its counterpart fund in full, thanked the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adesoun, for expediting action on the release of the funds
He said: “On the construction of Lagos-Ibadan railway line, the Minister of Finance (Kemi Adeosun) has been kind enough to release the counterpart funding in full. I think in the history of Nigeria, this is the first time that we are releasing counterpart funds in full so that there will be no delay since the Chinese loan seems to have been approved.
The only thing we need to do, I thank God there is somebody from the National Assembly here, is to plead with the National Assembly now that the funds have been approved; then the National Assembly should please approve the $29.9bn loan.
“If you don’t encourage the National Assembly to make that approval, then, the economy won’t be making the progress we want it to make. So, for me here, I will persuade the National Assembly to kindly make the approval because it is tied to projects.”
Calabar-Portharcout rail-line, according to Amaechi who spoke on a similar subject five months ago, would commence in 2018.