Buhari, Chinese leaders to discuss railway, power projects in South Africa

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President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to follow up his discussion on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in November in New York with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, when the two leaders meet in South Africa, Thursday during the Forum on China/Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

The forum taking place in Johannesburg, December 4-5, 2015, will see the two leaders re-commence stalled rail projects under new terms that would see China providing nearly all the financing required.

A statement by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), said that of particular interest to the president is the coastal railway project stretching for 1402 kilometers linking Lagos in the West with Calabar in the East; a project that is expected to be financed with $12 billion Chinese loan and which will create about 200,000 jobs.

Another rail project that will be up for renegotiation is the $8.3bn Lagos-Kano standard gauge modernization project, of which only a segment, Kaduna-Abuja has reached completion stage.

President Buhari is also expected to discuss ways of removing all obstacles in the way of the 3,050 MW Mambila Power Station, considered a strategic project which was conceived in 1982 but has not taken off.

The Chinese President had informed President Buhari of the willingness of his country to finance the whole project through a special loan agreement.

The President, who will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema; Minister of Transportation, Chubuike Amaechi; and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, will return to Abuja on Saturday, December 5.

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