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FG to know key China-Exim Bank loans repayment terms in June—Minister

In reaction to trending fears of taking over management of key infrastructural facilities built with loans secured from China-Exim Bank, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has made a comment suggesting that Nigeria is yet to know the terms upon which it has been accessing funds from the bank.
Revealing more on Monday in Nairobi, Kenya, at the 6th Annual East African Transport Infrastructure Conference, Amaechi said “Nigeria is in talks with the China-Exim Bank, By June we should be able to say this is our repayment plan.”
The Minister was however, quick to aver that “It also depends on what agreement plan you have with them; our agreement does not include the fact that they will come and take over our seaports or railways or airports.”
Continuing, he assured that “So, that shouldn’t be any problem; our focus should be to run this infrastructure efficiently so we can pay back and there is no plan for them to manage any of it.”
On the situation in some African countries where China has taken over management of infrastructures delivered with their loans, Amaechi said “I don’t know the arrangement these countries made with Exim Bank, I do not think we will have any problems with repaying our loans.
“The countries that they are talking about are Kenya, Somalia and Sudan. These are countries that have not been able to repay their loans, I think. So what they (China) are doing is that they are taking over to manage and get their money. But it is not so in Nigeria.”
Continuing, he disclosed that “In fact, it is affecting our ability to borrow and they are now saying, look we can’t lend to you because these people are not ready to pay back. How do we know you are going to pay back?”
In his further insights, the Minister, who revealed that the Federal Government was entering into a partnership with another Chinese company, said “They came to see me two days ago. The company is to raise 10 per cent of the equity. The Federal Government will raise 15 per cent of the equity. The remaining 75 per cent is to be borrowed, not by the Federal Government, but by the company because we formed a Special Purpose Vehicle which we will use in running the contract.”
Recall that China-Exim Bank last year annexed and took over the running of a major seaport in an East African country based on debt default.