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$29.96B Foreign Loan: Buhari Marginalises South East In Project Allocation

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[caption id="attachment_13245" align="alignnone" width="699"]President Muhammadu Buhari[/caption]

President Muhammadu Buhari has again left out the South East region in projects to be executed with the pro­posed $29.960 billion infra­structure loan.

The president had on Tuesday asked the Senate to ap­prove the loan from multilater­al financial institutions to ena­ble his administration execute critical infrastructure and oth­er social intervention initiatives across the country.

A breakdown of how the loan would be spent on infra­structure between 2016 and 2018 shows that none of the projects contained in the gov­ernment’s document is locat­ed in the South East geo-polit­ical zone.

When asked the reason for the exclusion of the South East, the Special Assistant to the Minister of Finance on Media, Mr. Festus Akanbi said: “I don’t have an answer to your question. This is just a Federal Govern­ment thing that was presented today. It’s not a regional thing. There are other projects like ag­riculture.

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“These are strategic things just like intervention for three years’ programme. That does not stop the Federal Govern­ment from planning for all the regions next year and in the 2018 budget. It’s just for sup­port. It’s not the main thing, just an ad-hoc initiative.

“The government is going to sit down and work on the 2017 budget and all the regions will be covered. It has nothing to do with regions. These are specific projects on ground”.

The projects to be em­barked upon are the Mambil­la Hydro Electric Power Project ($4.8 billion), the Moderni­sation Coastal Railway Pro­ject (Calabar-Port Harcourt-Onne Deep Sea Port Segment) valued at $3.5 billion and the Abuja Mass Transit Rail Project (Phase 2) put at $1.6 billion.

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Others are the Lagos-Kano Railway Modernisation Project (Lagos-Ibadan Segment Dou­ble Track) estimated at $1.3 bil­lion and the Lagos-Kano Rail­way Modernisation Project (Kano-Kaduna Segment Dou­ble Track) valued at $1.1 bil­lion.

The balance of $11 billion will be expended on Eurobond ($4.5 billion), Federal Govern­ment Budget Support ($3.5 bil­lion), Social Support for Educa­tion and Health ($2.2 billion), Agriculture ($1.2 billion), and Economic Management and Statistics ($.2 billion).