The Senate has asked the Federal Government to release the balance of 12 billion naira counterpart funding so as to enhance signing of agreement with Exim Bank of China for completion of Lagos -Ibadan standard gauge railway project.
The Senate Committees on Local and Foreign Debt and that of Land Transportation made call in Lagos while on joint inspection tour of the rail project.
Chairman of local and foreign debts, Senator Shehu Sanni, expressed satisfaction with the level of work so far done by China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), but noted that federal Ministry of Transportation should release the balance of 12 billion naira so as to commence documentation for the second phase of the modernization of rail lines from Ibadan to Kano.
“The fact both committees are here signals the seriousness attached to the commencement and successful completion of this rail project by this 8th senate and indeed every project in the 2016-2018 external borrowing plan recently approved in the senate,” Sani declared.
Senator Sani noted that the oversight visit is to ensure that funds so far released is being utilized for the purpose it is meant for adding that if project meant to be funded through foreign loans obtained in the past were judiciously used, the country would not have been where it is today.
The signing of agreement between Federal Ministry of Transportation and Exim Bank of China has become necessary so that the later will fulfil its obligation of providing 90% of the fund required to complete the $1.581 Billion project.
Chairman of land transport, Senator Gbenga Ashafa in his remark, said the focus of the committee is to ensure a high level of accountability in public expenditure.