Buhari, Chinese leader to meet on power, rail projects.


President Muhammadu Buhari is to discuss the revival of the stalled various rail projects in the country with Chinese leader, Xi Jinping.

The motive for the discussion is to actualise the administration’s plans to recreate infrastructure and create jobs.

The discussion is expected to hold on the sideline of the Forum on China/Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) scheduled to hold December 4-5 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The President, will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema; Minister of Transportation, Chubuike Amaechi; and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah.

President Buhari had earlier 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 U.S Dollars Chinese loan and which will create about 200,000 jobs.

Another rail project that will be up for renegotiation is the $8.3bn Lagos-Kano standard gauge modernization project, of which only a segment, Kaduna-Abuja has reached completion stage.

President Buhari is also expected to 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 has not taken off.

The Chinese President had at the earlier meeting informed President Buhari of thewillingness of his country to finance the whole project through a special  loan agreement.

The various on going rail projects were negotiated in 2012 by the outgone President Goodluck Jonathan administration. Other projects being handled by the Chinese include the remodeling of the airports in the country.

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