The Kaduna-Kano section of the railway’s modernization project received a $22,798,446,773 credit that was approved by the National Assembly in 2020.
According to the Daily Post, on Tuesday, the Senate changed one of its rulings.
The Kaduna-Kano railway project in the nation will now be financed by the China Development Bank rather than the China Exim Bank after the Senate revised the conditions of the project’s external borrowing plan for the Federal Government for the years 2016 to 2018.
A $22,798,446,773 loan was authorized by the National Assembly in 2020 for the Kaduna-Kano segment of the railway’s modernization project.
Kaduna-Zaria-Kano segment, China Development Bank as the financier, a 15-year maturity with an interest rate of 2.7% and a six-month Euribor as the benchmark, as well as commitment fees of 0.4% and upfront fees of 0.5%, were all approved by the upper legislative chamber.
These motions were in response to one introduced by Senator Sadiq Umar (APC, Kwara North) during the session.
When introducing the resolution, Senator Umar stated: “The 2016-2018 Federal Government external borrowing (rolling) plan was approved by the Senate and the House of Representatives on March 5, 2020, and June 2, 2020, respectively.”
He recalled as well: “Under the 2016-2018 Medium Term External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan, the National Assembly approved the sum of $22,798,446,773 (twenty-two billion, seven hundred and ninety-eight million, four hundred and forty-six thousand, seven hundred and seventy-three United States Dollars) only.”
The lawmaker recalled the communication from the Federal Ministry of Finance asking for approval of changes to the financing proposal for the Nigerian Railway Modernization Project (Kaduna-Kano segment) caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, whereby China Exim Bank withdrew its support to finance the project.
In order to secure funding for the project, Senator Umar continued: “The contractor, CCEC Nigeria Limited, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Transportation, engaged China Development Bank (CDB) as the new financier in the sum of $973,474,971.38 (nine hundred and seventy-three million, four hundred and seventy-four thousand, nine hundred and one hundred and thirty-eight cents, United States dollars) only.”
In his remarks, Senate President Dr. Ahmad Lawan made it clear to his fellow senators that the resolution did not call for a new loan but rather that the financier of an old external borrowing plan rescind the plan’s terms and conditions.
The resolutions were then unanimously passed by the Red Chamber.