China sets to fund Port Harcourt-Maiduguri and Abuja-Kano rail projects

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China sets to fund Port Harcourt-Maiduguri and Abuja-Kano rail projects
China sets to fund Port Harcourt-Maiduguri and Abuja-Kano rail projects

The Chinese government has affirmed its dedication to refinance and finalize the Abuja-Kano and Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri railway projects.

The commitment was conveyed in a statement signed by Stanley Nkwocha, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications to Vice President Kashim Shettima, who represented President Bola Tinubu during a bilateral meeting with the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, in Beijing.

The statement, titled ‘At 3rd Belt and Road Initiative Forum: China Commits to Refinancing, Completing Abuja-Kano, Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri Railways,’ emphasized China’s commitment to these major railway projects in Nigeria.

China had initially agreed to provide 85% of the financing for the construction of these railways, with Nigeria responsible for the remaining 15%.

However, China had yet to release the funds for the projects, primarily due to financial constraints and obligations.

During the meeting, President Xi Jinping pledged not only to refinance and complete the railway projects but also to increase investments in Nigeria’s power generation and digital economy.

He also expressed the need for the protection of Chinese nationals working in Nigeria and vowed to strengthen the Nigeria-China bilateral relationship.

The Chinese President affirmed that China would enhance political support and cooperation across all sectors and appreciated Nigeria’s support of the one-China policy.

He further pledged support for President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Manifesto and his eight-point economic agenda.

China also committed to supporting Nigeria’s exports, particularly in areas like peanuts, and emphasized the significance of the China-Africa talent initiative in its cooperation with Nigeria.

Regarding security, President Xi assured continued efforts to combat terrorism, emphasizing China’s dedication to peace in the Sahel region, including military training and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) on joint exercises.

In his response, Vice President Kashim Shettima, who conveyed President Tinubu’s well-wishes, emphasized the importance of the railway projects for Nigeria and highlighted the commitment to a stronger Nigeria-China partnership characterized by respect, non-political interference, and mutual international cooperation.