The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has described as unnecessary the controversy generated over the $500 million loan secured from China by Nigeria to finance the construction of railway in the country.
Recall that House of Representatives had raised the alarm over loan agreements being entered into by the Federal Government with China
Recall that the Chairman of the House Committee on Treaties, Protocols and Agreements, Nicholas Ossai, had last week faulted non-involvement of the National Assembly in loan negotiations by the Federal Government and China.
He cited the loan obtained for the Galaxy Backbone to build and operate the National Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure Backbone, a cross-country optical fibre backbone, from the China-Exim Bank in September, 2018 as an example of such loans.
Speaking on a television programme monitored in Lagos at the weekend, Amaechi explained that out of the $500 million loan the federal government took to build the Abuja-Kaduna rail line, and $96 million has been paid, adding that Nigeria has capability to pay all the China loans.
“We are paying the loans. In the same National Assembly sitting, they were told that the $500 million loan, we have paid $96 million already. Nigeria is already paying and the $500 million was not taken by us, it was taken by President Goodluck Jonathan in his term and that clause was there,” he said.
Amaechi said it would be unconstitutional to take a loan not approved by the National Assembly, but for the issue of confidentiality in government he would have published the clauses generating the dusts.
“The National Assembly are aware of all these loans. We can’t take loan without the National Assembly. So, ask why they are investigating? The Chinese is just asking us to show them the evidence that we will pay back which is the immunity clause. If we don’t pay, they can take back their assets,” he said.