Nigeria will repay Chinese loans in 20 years —Amaechi
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said on Saturday the Federal Government could repay loans obtained from the Chinese government within the stipulated period of 20 years.
In a statement issued in Abuja, the minister said China was the only country in the world giving out loans with a low-interest rate of 2.8 percent.
He said no country in the world would give out a loan without a guarantee to pay back such loans.
“The trade agreement between Nigeria and China, the ministry of transportation does not take a loan,
everything about the loan is directed to the Ministry of Finance, so, I couldn’t have signed any loan because I don’t take loan.
“What I signed is what they call a commercial contract, which is a contract between the
Federal Government and Chinese Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) as a contractor.
The contract between Nigeria and China is usually signed by the ministry of finance.
“Whether is the ministry of finance that signed it or the ministry of transportation,
the issue is that nobody will give you a loan free of charge.
“There must be an agreement and such agreement must contain some terms,
that doesn’t mean that you are signing away the sovereignty of the country,
no country will sign out its sovereignty.
“What clause 8 says is, I expect you to pay according to those terms we have agreed.
If you don’t pay, don’t throw your immunity on me
when I come to collect back the guarantee that was put forward, that is all.
“We are paying the loans.
In the same National Assembly sitting, they were told that out of the $500million loan;
we have paid $96 million already, Nigeria is already paying.
“And the $500 million was not taken by us, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan took it in his term.
“Nigeria can payback for the period of 20 years at 2.8 percent, which country will give you that loan?
Secondly, these loans are not given to us, they pay directly to the contractors.
“Once they sign that the job has been done, they pay the contractors, and that has never happened before and these projects are in place.
Are they trying to rubbish the fact that there is a railway from Abuja-Kaduna?
“There is no loan in Nigeria, either internal or external that is not approved by the National Assembly, none.
“The Chinese government will not even give you a loan without approval by the National Assembly
because if they give you a loan without the approval from NASS that is no loan.”
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