Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, says Nigeria wouldn’t achieve its current level of infrastructural development without loans.
Amaechi spoke on Friday when he featured as a guest on Good Morning Nigeria, a programme on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
Speaking on what the present administration has accomplished in infrastructure, he said not all projects are funded with loans, adding that Buhari should be commended for his efforts.
“We must credit it to a great extent to the president in the sense that if he had been listening to the elite of Nigeria that was screaming ‘no, you can’t borrow money to do this infrastructure’, we won’t be where we are today,” he said.
It is because he just kept a deaf ear to them and then encouraged us to go for the cheapest fund that we can get.
“We raised funds from China to do the Lagos-Ibadan. Currently, we are doing Kaduna-Abuja from the budget, but we are yet to get the loan. We are still negotiating with China and we hope that before March next year, we should be able to get the loan so that we can continue.
“I have repeatedly said this. When Nigerians talk about borrowing, how much are we actually borrowing? It is too much noise. When you hear the minister of transport announce that the federal government has awarded the contract of Lagos to Ibadan or the Lagos to Calabar for $11.1 billion, it doesn’t mean that we borrowed the money. Up till now, we are struggling to get the money for Lagos to Calabar.
We are negotiating with the Turkish company to join the Chinese company so that we can get European loan. We are negotiating with the Chinese company in charge of Port Harcourt to Maiduguri. So, we have not got all the money that people think we have.
Amaechi added that, “What we have borrowed so far, I want to repeat, is $1.6 billion for Lagos to Ibadan. Of the remaining $1.4 billion, $600 million was paid by the federal government. $1.4 billion was what was borrowed; the $600 million on it was funded directly by the budget.
“So, you should even praise the government that it can raise that kind of money.”