The Progressive Youth Alliance has said that the call on Minister of Transportation to resign by one Mr Kachi Ononuju is misconstrued and mischievous.
In a statement made available to Swift Reporters in Abuja on Saturday, the group said that the Ministry of Transport does not negotiate nor sign for loans; they only implement the projects for which the loan was taken. It’s the Ministry of Finance that obtains loans.
The group went further to say that the Five Hundred Million Dollar loan was taken by and agreement signed under the government of Pres. Goodluck Jonathan.
The statement read, “The immunity and sovereign clause are standard clause in all international trade agreement without which you can’t get the loan. It does not mean that Nigeria will be colonized by China. It just means that an asset equivalent to the cost of the project can be accessed after the ruling of an arbitration and the country cannot dwell on the sovereignty clause to frustrate legitimate arbitration, the group reiterated.
“The issue is trying to sacrifice the development of our transport system using railways to complement, boost our growth in commerce trade and investment opportunities
“We reiterate that Fmr Pres. Goodluck Jonathan administration took the initiative by approaching the Chinese government for a loan. What Pres Buhari has done under the supervision of Hon Rotimi Ameachi is to continue the policy and bring into to fruition.
“Hon Rotimi Amaechi should be applauded for his judicious administration and continuation of the foundation laid by the PDP administration of Pres. Goodluck Jonathan
“The call for Hon Rotimi Amaechi resignation is totally uncalled for and a misguided statement by an uninformed person who rather than do good investigative analyses was not circumspect and politically misconstrued to deceive the good people of Nigeria by playing to the gallery
“Pres. Buhari’s government has tried it best to continue the transportation sector development initiative by former government especially Pres. Goodluck Jonathan who signed the $500m loan agreement with the Chinese government.
“It Is trite to note that the Federal Government of Nigeria under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Finance is instrumental to bilateral loan issues between Nigeria and other foreign governments.
“There is a Standard International Model for loan agreements that binds sovereign nations and ensures a viable legally binding repayment scheme.
“From our investigations, this particular Chinese / railway agreement was entered into before Pres Buhari’s administration and Honourable Rotimi Amaechi became the Minister of Transport.
“It Is a misconception and mischievous reasoning to blame him for an agreement which he had no input in. Had Mr Kachi Ononuju being more circumspect and less selective, he would have conducted a more sincere investigation and apportion blames correctly.
“The Presidential system of government provides for checks and balances to ensure smooth running of the presidential system of government under a democratic system . The legislative house is well within their rights to be concerned and supervise and the country’s debt portfolio
“The issue now is to put in place mechanisms to ensure that the debt is paid within the stipulated period.
“The revitalization of our railway system as a viable alternative to road transportation by Pres. Buhari’s administration is highly commendable .
“Nigeria as an emerging markets with the railways being viable will lead to positive nod in the economic sector by creation of wealth by opportunities of jobs for our teeming youths and growth in commerce with ease of doing business .
“The solid minerals sector will also get a boost as the railways would be a viable means of transporting our minerals deposits from the hinterland to the open markets .
“Let us celebrate Pres. Buhari’s administration for the great strides they have achieved in bringing back to life our railway system ! Which was in a state of comatose.
“It is pertinent that the Nigerian transportation sector is dynamic moving fast in a global environment making Nigeria a strong economic player in reality and not just by size.
“This would be a boost in our investment profile, the statement concluded.
Further clarification of the loan has been done by Hon. Rotimi Amaechi via: https://www.youtube.com/embed/RjzE33y1Hkw