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Amaechi, Reps In serious Argument Over Chinese Loans

Serious argument ensued on Monday between the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Treaties, Agreements and Protocols, Nicholas Ossai.

The issue which generated a heated argument forced the Committee to suspend proceedings for about 30 minutes after Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila waded in to restore orderliness.

Ossai at the start of the hearing expressed displeasure with the Ministry of Transport for allegedly obtaining over $33 billion loan from China for the construction rail project without any clear cut financing arrangements.

Ossai (PDP: Delta) claimed that most of the commercial contracts agreements lacked local content clauses adding it was unfortunate that the deals were sealed by non designated and authorized officials.

Ossai’s claim irked Amaechi who insisted that there was no iota truth that his ministry obtained $33 billion for the construction of railway projects in the country.

The Minister who had a hot exchange of words with Ossai disclosed that his ministry has so far obtained a loan of $1.6 billion for the construction of Lagos -Ibadan railway project.

The Minister also faulted the notions held in certain quarters that the local content laws were breached by his ministry.

The minister warned that the activities of the lawmakers will hinder the acquisition of the loans to finance the south-south rail projects adding that the only loan secured by the present government was the NI.6 billion Lagos -Ibadan rail.

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