Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon.Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi says the Nigerian can pay back the loans collected for the construction of rail projects within the stipulated period of twenty years.
Amaechi said on a live television programme (Democracy Today) aired on AIT in Abuja, Friday.
According to him, China was the only country given out loans with a low interest rate of 2.8 percent as no country in the world would give out a loan without a guarantee to pay back such loans.
“The trade agreement between Nigeria and China: The first thing is that the ministry of transport doesn’t take loan, everything about loan is directed to the ministry of finance, so I couldn’t have signed any loan because I don’t take loan. What I signed is what is called commercial contract, which is contract between the federal government and CCECC as a contractor, the contract between Nigeria and China is usually signed by the ministry of finance.
“Whether it is the ministry of finance that signed it or the ministry of transportation, the issue is that nobody will give you loan free of charge, there must be an agreement and such agreement must contain some terms, that doesn’t mean that you are signing away the sovereignty of the country, no country will sign out its sovereignty.
“What clause 8 does is to say to you, I expect you to pay according to those terms we have agreed, if you don’t pay, don’t throw your immunity on me when I come to collect back the guarantee that was put forward, that is all”.
“We are paying the loans. In the same National Assembly sitting, they were told that the 500million dollars loan, we have paid 96 million dollars already, Nigeria is already paying and the 500 million dollars was not taking by us, it was taken by President Goodluck Jonathan in his term and that clause was there.