Buhari Implementing Anti-Igbo Policies, Abandons 2nd Niger Bridge

By Ikenga Chronicles October 31, 2016

Buhari Implementing Anti-Igbo Policies, Abandons 2nd Niger Bridge

There was palpable tension in the South East on Sunday October 30 in many circles as it became obvious that President Muhammadu Buhari administration has abandoned the Second Niger Bridge, Ikenga Chronicles gathered. This came as the Federal Government has left out the region in projects which Buhari plans to execute with the proposed $29.960 billion infrastructure loan.

Some of South easterners who spoke to our reporter expressed deep sadness over the issue.

A breakdown of how the loan would be spent on infrastructure between 2016 and 2018 shows that none of the projects contained in the government’s document is located in the South East geo-political zone.

Recall that Buhari had on Tuesday asked the Senate to approve the loan from multilateral financial institutions to enable his administration execute critical infrastructure and other social intervention initiatives across the country.

But in a statement released to journalists on the projects to be funded by the loan, there was no single infrastructural project allocated to the South East – an area most acutely hit by poor infrastructure and an acute shortage of various social amenities.

According to the statement, issued by the Special Assistant to the Minister of Finance on Media, Festus Akanbi, infrastructural projects are allocated $18.3 billion.

‘’The projects to be embarked upon are the Mambilla Hydro Electric Power Project ($4.8 billion), the Moderni­sation Coastal Railway Pro­ject (Calabar-Port Harcourt-Onne Deep Sea Port Segment) valued at $3.5 billion and the Abuja Mass Transit Rail Project (Phase 2) put at $1.6 billion.”

‘’Others are the Lagos-Kano Railway Modernisation Project (Lagos-Ibadan Segment Dou­ble Track) estimated at $1.3 bil­lion and the Lagos-Kano Rail­way Modernisation Project (Kano-Kaduna Segment Dou­ble Track) valued at $1.1 bil­lion.

‘’The balance of $11 billion will be expended on Eurobond ($4.5 billion), Federal Govern­ment Budget Support ($3.5 bil­lion), Social Support for Education and Health ($2.2 billion), Agriculture ($1.2 billion), and Economic Management and Statistics ($.2 billion).

According to the statement, the borrowing has a three-year plan covering proposed projects for 2016-2018 and is expected to be phased over the three year period.

The ministry said that the borrowings are highly concessional (non-commercial), with low interest rates and long tenors.

The Federal Government affirmed that the funding is being sought from multilateral institutions such as the World Bank, the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), the Islamic De­velopment Bank (IDB), Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) and the China Exim Bank.

The planned Eurobond issuance in the international capital markets, the statement pointed out is the only commercial source of funding.

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