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Buhari Queries Diversion Of Jonathan’s $1.5 Billion Foreign Loans

By Ganiyu Nasirudeen – The anti-corruption campaign by the present administration has taken more serious dimension as President Muhammadu Buhari Monday demanded for explanations from the Federal Ministry of Finance on diversion of the sum of $1.5 billion external loan, meant for rail projects under the supervision of the last Finance Minister, Dr. (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

The loan was obtained from the Chinese Exim Bank and it was targeted at the construction of a standard gauge rail line, linking Lagos and Kano State as well as other States in the country.

The Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Transport, Alhaji Mohammed Bashar, during a presentation of the Ministry’s activities at the Presidential Villa, Abuja informed Mr. President that the sum of $400 million was left out of the loan.

According to him, some of the challenges facing the transport and maritime sectors included: encroachment on railway land, lack of security on inland waterways and some vague agreements between the Nigeria Ports Authority and Ports concessionaires.

President Buhari expressed disappointment over the revelation, wondering why foreign loans obtained in line with signed agreements were moved from one project to another.

While expressing hope that due process was followed before the diversions, President  Buhari regretted that government had, in the past, failed to meet its obligation with her counterparts, funding some projects, a situation he stressed thwarted completion of some capital projects.

The President declared given the disturbing trend, processes such as streamlining, harmonizing and prioritizing on-going projects in the transportation sector were no more feasible.


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