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Buhari meets Chinese leader in S/Africa on railway, power projects



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President Muhammadu Buhari will leave Abuja on Thursday for Johannesburg, South Africa, to participate in the Forum on China/Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), slated for Dec. 4 and 5.
This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by Mallam Garba Shehu Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity,
The statement said that at the forum, Buhari would follow up on his meeting with the Chinese leader Xi Jinping which took place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in November in New York.
“President Buhari had indicated to Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader at the bilateral meeting in New York that he wanted China to re-commence stalled rail projects under new terms that would see China providing nearly all the financing required.
“Of particular interest is the coastal railway project stretching for 1402 kilometers linking Lagos in the West with Calabar in the East; a project that is expected to be financed with 12 billion dollars Chinese loan and which will create about 200,000 jobs.
“Another rail project that will be up for renegotiation is the 8.3 billion dollars Lagos-Kano standard gauge modernisation project, of which only a segment, Kaduna-Abuja has reached completion stage,’’ the statement added.
The statement said that Buhari would also discuss ways of removing all obstacles in the way of the 3,050 MW Mambila Power Station, considered a strategic project which was conceived in 1982 but had not taken off.
It said that the Chinese President had informed Buhari of the willingness of his country to finance the whole project through a special loan agreement.
It said that the President would be accompanied on the trip by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema; Minister of Transportation, Chubuike Amaechi and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah.

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