Political News

Senate accuses Amaechi of lying to Nigerians about $7.5billion Chinese loan approval, saying there was no such loan request before it

Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation

The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria said that it would tackle the Presidency over claims by Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, that the National Assembly was yet to approve loans need for the construction of rail line.

According to Aliyu Abdullahi, the spokesman of the Senate, Mr. Amaechi alleged that the non-approval of the loan by the lawmakers was frustrating the construction of Lagos-Ibadan, Ibadan-Ilorin-Manna-Kano rail lines.

He noted that the claims by Amaechi were not only false but misrepresenting and contradictory available facts, saying that he (Amaechi) must withdraw the claim.

Amaechi had on Monday at a Town Hall meeting in Ilorin, stated that the Federal Government secured $7.5billion loan for rail projects but was waiting for the National Assembly to approve access to the money.

He said that the loan which was allegedly approved by a Chinese Bank will be used for the construction of rail lines from Lagos to Ibadan, Ibadan-Illorin-Minna-Kaduna-Kano lines.

However, the Senate noted that there was no such loan request before it.

“As at today, the only request for approval from the executive for loan was the one dated January 27, 2017 and signed by Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

“The request was seeking a `resolution of National Assembly for Issuance of one billion Euro Bond in the International Capital Market for funding of 2016 Budget Deficit’ and we immediately granted the approval.

“Also, in the letter quoted above, the Government mentioned the two rail lines cited by the minister as part of the projects for which the Euro Bond will be utilised.

“So, we do not understand what the grouse of Mr. Amaechi is.

“We view that statement based on false and misinformed premise strongly as a mere attempt to incite the people against the National Assembly,” it said.

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“As a former Speaker of a state House of Assembly, we believe that a minister like Amaechi should always check his facts and refrain from making unguarded and inciting remarks against the legislature.

“What Nigeria needs at this point is for all arms of government to work together and create the synergy necessary to take Nigeria out of the present economic crisis we have found ourselves.

“Comments designed to infuriate one arm of government or incite the people against another arm of the government will do no one any good.”

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