Nigeria eyes Standard Chartered rail project loan after Chinese hold up


LAGOS (Reuters) – Nigeria has approached Standard Chartered Bank for funding of two rail tasks, its Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi mentioned on Wednesday, after delays from Chinese lenders.

President Muhammadu Buhari has made upgrading transport networks and enhancing outdated energy grids the pillar of his administration, with a view to boosting agriculture and different non-oil industries to chop dependence on dwindling crude revenues. But funding has been a serious constraint.

Its parliament final 12 months authorised a number of billions of {dollars} in project-tied loans from the Chinese and different worldwide lenders however funds have but to materialize.

“We are literally ready for the Chinese to present us the loan we utilized for they usually stored delaying us,” he advised reporters in Abuja. “Will we look ahead to them endlessly? The reply is not any.”

Nigeria has been negotiating a mixture of loans from Chinese and European lenders to fund railway tasks within the nation.

In July, Amaechi mentioned Standard Chartered had agreed to fund $3.02 billion for the continuing Port Harcourt-to-Maiduguri railway project. He additionally mentioned on the time that Credit Suisse was anticipated to fund the Kano-to-Maradi line, which can join northern states Kano, Jigawa and Katsina.

“We have gone to Standard Chartered Bank. They haven’t achieved monetary closure however they’ve authorised some degree of funding for Kano-Maradi,” the minister mentioned.

Nigeria’s poor transport and energy networks have stymied financial development for many years, holding again the distribution of wealth in Africa’s greatest economic system the place 40% of individuals dwell under the nationwide poverty line.

Amaechi mentioned cupboard authorised $187.7 million for contractors that can supervise the three or 4 rail tasks within the works.

(Reporting by Felix Onah; Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Richard Chang)

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