The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has told the House of Representatives that normal Nigerians would be the greatest loser if several loan agreements with China were dropped because of unlimited tests by the lower chamber.
Showing up before the House Committee on Treaties, Protocols and Agreements on Monday, Amaechi demanded that the loan plan with Chinese can’t turn into a subject of unlimited tests, demanding that whenever proceeded, the solicitation would probably be declined, which he said will be sad for the citizens.
The Minister emphasised: “If the loan is not taken to develop the country, the ordinary citizens who are the beneficiaries of infrastructural projects would lose greatly.
“Last week, I went to Lagos to inspect the railway project, the ordinary people were jubilating because the railway project will decongest the seaport as goods will leave the port the same day it came into the country.”
Amaechi’s position was at the setting of requests from the board who demanded to know the status of credit understandings, especially the subsidizing of the railroad lines.
Administrator of the Committee, Hon. Osai Nicholas Osai, caused him to notice certain provisos of the agreement understanding where there was an amendment by President Muhammadu Buhari on certain activities.
Osai said: “Hon. Minister, in 2016, Mr. President and according to item B in the contract agreement.
“The Federal government revised the project on the directive of Mr. President and in view of the fact that prices of some of the materials have undergone serious decline as a result of the world’s economic downturn since the conclusion of the contract agreement in 2014.
“In item ‘D’ see page 3, the area covered by contract was then revised to only cover Lagos – Benin – Warri to Yenagoa to Port Harcourt and Port Harcourt to Calabar and Benin to Onitsha including River Niger bridge at the cost of $11. 9 billion.
“This over $11 billion contract was witnessed by one, Zakari of the Federal Ministry of Transport which is the Permanent Secretary.
“I like the Honourable Minister to inform this committee, whether he did get legal opinion from the legal department about this contractual agreement.
“How can $11 billion agreement be signed without a local content component because I know the Minister, you have been signing contracts without the local content.”
Reacting, Amaechi said: “We are just new and there are already existing contracts which have been existing. Why you see my signature is that we renegotiated for the sum of the contracts and bring it from $11.9 to $11.1 billion.
“This contract was signed before we came. It was signed during President Goodluck Jonathan administration. “
He further clarified that the nearby substance segment has been caught, taking note of that things that Nigeria can be created would be sourced locally, especially concrete, iron pole, windows and others.