Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, on Monday stated that the Federal Government had released N72bn as its counterpart funds for the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway line.
The minister said this at the Second Presidential Business Forum, which was presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja
He said the money was released in full so that there would be no delay in the implementation of the project.
Amaechi also used the opportunity to appeal to the National Assembly to approve the $29.9bn foreign loan request made by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said, “On the construction of Lagos-Ibadan railway line, the Minister of Finance 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 appears 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 kind of progress we want it to make. So, for me here, I will persuade the National Assembly to kindly make that approval because it is tied to projects.”