FOCAC: Buhari to discuss Power, Rail projects

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buhari3President Muhammadu Buhari will be in South Africa on Thursday to participate in the Forum on China/Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) which would hold in Johannesburg on December 4 and 5.

In a statement, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media  and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said that Mr Buhari, at the forum would follow up his meeting with the Chinese Leader Xi Jinping which took place in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in November.

“President Buhari had 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 8.3 billion Dollars Lagos-Kano standard gauge modernisation project, of which only a segment, Kaduna-Abuja has reached completion stage”, the statement read.

President Buhari is also expected to discuss ways of removing all obstacles in the way of the 3,050 megawatts Mambila Power Station, considered a strategic project which was conceived in 1982 but has not taken off.

“The Chinese President had informed President Buhari of the willingness of his country to finance the whole project through a special loan agreement.

“The President, who 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, will return to Abuja on Saturday, December 5”, the statement added.

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Hamilton Nwosa

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