The Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) attributed the delay in completion of the Calabar-Port Harcourt, Kaduna-Kano rail projects to the non-payment of the counterpart funding from the Chinese EXIM bank. The Federal Government has paid its own counterpart funding for the projects but negotiation is still ongoing with the bank, Fidet Okhiria, the NRC’s Managing Director, said.
“We have finished Abuja-Kaduna, Lagos-Ibadan. We thought by this time Port Harcourt – Calabar would have commenced, Kaduna-Kano would have also commenced. Government had provided its complete counterpart funding. But the government is taking time to negotiate the counterpart funding from the Chinese EXIM bank. Two weeks ago we signed the Lagos-Ibadan. The other two aspect of the loan would have been conclusive and the Ministry of Finance will go there and sign, so that work can commence on the Calabar-Port Harcourt, Kaduna-Kano. The beauty of it all is that the EXIM Bank is saying they don’t want segmentation, they want it done at once, so that is what is delaying it; we have to go back to renegotiate, so that once we start, we don’t stop,” he explained.