$8.3b rail project tops agenda as Buhari meets chinese leader

President Muhammadu Buhari will today in South Africa  participate in the Forum on China/Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) taking place in Johannesburg.
A statement issued  by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, explained that  President Buhari would at the forum follow up on his meeting with the Chinese leader Xi Jinping, which took place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in November in New York.
Buhari had indicated to Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader at the bilateral meeting in New York that he wanted China to re-commence stalled rail projects under new terms that would see China providing nearly all the financing required.
Of particular interest 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 U.S Dollars Chinese loan and which will create about 200,000 jobs.
Meanwhile, another rail project that will be up for renegotiation is the $8.3billion  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 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.