Nigeria has gained from China the execution of infrastructure projects worth $5bn across the country, President Muhammadu Buhari, said on Tuesday.
Buhari said under the partnership with China through the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, the projects had been executed in the last three years of his administration.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, quoted Buhari as saying this on Tuesday in Beijing at the FOCAC Round Table meeting, attended by African leaders and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
President Buhari dismissed insinuations that the Chinese loans to developing countries could constitute a debt trap.
He insisted that Nigeria would be able to repay the loans.
He said, ”These vital infrastructure projects synchronise perfectly with our Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
“Some of the debts incurred are self-liquidating. Our country is able to repay loans as and when due in keeping with our policy of fiscal prudence and sound housekeeping.”
According to Buhari, Nigeria through the support from China has addressed significant challenges in the areas of infrastructure, human capacity development, power, transport, agriculture and humanitarian assistance.
He said as an example of the projects which he said was commissioned in July was the construction of the first urban rail system in West Africa worth $500m.
The President was quoted as saying, ”For Nigeria, our partnership with China through the FOCAC platform, has resulted in the construction of the first urban rail system in West Africa. This $500 million project in Abuja was commissioned in July this year.”
Buhari also cited the construction and operation of the first rail system in Africa that uses modern Chinese standards and technology.
He said, “This 180km rail line that connects Abuja and Kaduna was commissioned two years ago at a cost of $500 million.
“Today the rail line is functioning efficiently with no issues – indeed, a sign that Chinese technology is world class.”
He also said Nigeria was leveraging Chinese funding to execute $3.4bn worth of projects at various stages of completion.