China To Fund Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, Abuja-Kano Rails

China To Fund Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, Abuja-Kano Rails

The Chinese government, on Wednesday, expressed its commitment to refinance and complete the Abuja-Kano and Port- Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri railway projects.

A statement signed by the VP’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Stanley Nkwocha, on Wednesday, said: “President of Peoples Republic of China, Xi Jinping, pledged while responding to requests by President Bola Tinubu who was represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, at a bilateral meeting with the Chinese leader in Beijing.”

The statement was titled, ‘At 3rd Belt and Road initiative forum: China commits to refinancing, completing Abuja-Kano, Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri railways’.

Since the launch of the projects, China has yet to release funds for the two major railway projects in Nigeria, largely due to cutbacks and commitments.

China had agreed to provide 85 per cent financing for the construction of the Abuja-Kano and Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri railway projects, while Nigeria which had the duty of paying the balance of 15 per cent, paid its part of the funding from the inception of the project through appropriations.

The Chinese President who received the Nigerian delegation led by Vice President Shettima at the Peoples Building in China, pledged increased investment in Nigeria’s power generation and digital economy.

While calling for the protection of Chinese nationals working in Nigeria, he said he would, in turn, ensure that the Nigeria-China bilateral relation was stronger than before.

Xi promised that China would enhance political support and build cooperation in all fields. He also appreciated Nigeria’s support of the one-China policy.

Pledging to deepen practical cooperation further, the Chinese leader pledged support for the Renewed Hope Manifesto of President Bola Tinubu and his eight-point economic agenda.

Xi affirmed that China would support Nigeria’s exports, especially as it related to peanuts, even as the China – Africa talent initiative remained key in its cooperation with Nigeria.

In security, the Chinese President promised a continued crackdown on terrorists, promising that China is committed to peace in the Sahel region, more so that its long-standing military training and MoUs on joint exercises remain sacrosanct.

He said, “As President Bola Ahmed Tinubu stated recently at the last United Nations General Assembly, Africa does not need to run away. Africa holds the key to the World.

“We support Nigeria to play key roles in international relations and upholding allies’ commitments. Mr Vice President, you spoke about upscaling and further upgrading our strategic relationship, and I agree with you.

“Nigeria is developing with big potential. I agree with you. Our foreign Ambassadors can stay and work out this upgrading”.

Speaking earlier, Vice President Shettima who delivered the well-wishes of Tinubu, described the rail projects as vital to the President and people of Nigeria.

Shettima said Tinubu remained committed to a stronger Nigeria-China tie, adding that it was laden with respect, non-political interference and mutual international cooperation.

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