The federal government monday said it had released N72 billion, the full counterpart funding for the construction of Lagos-Ibadan railway modernisation project.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed this while speaking at the second quarterly Presidential Business Forum in Abuja.
Amaechi also appealed to the National Assembly to approve the federal government’s request to obtain $30billion foreign loans, saying it would speed up the development of the country.
He said: “The construction of the Lagos-Ibadan Railway, the government has been kind enough to release the counterpart funding in full.
“I think in the history of Nigeria, this is the first time that we are releasing counterpart funds in full so that there will be no delay since the Chinese loan appears to have been approved.
“The only thing we need to do, I thank God there is somebody from the National Assembly, is to plead with the National Assembly that the funds have been approved, then the National Assembly should please approve the $30billion loan.
“If you don’t encourage the National Assembly to make that approval, then, the economy won’t be making the kind of progress we want the economy to make.
“So, for me here, I will enjoin you to persuade the National Assembly to kindly make that approval because it is tied to projects,’’ he said.
The railway project, which has been awarded to the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, will be jointly funded by the Nigerian and Chinese governments.
The project which is scheduled to start next month will cost about $1.5bn (N458bn).