Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, says former President Goodluck Jonathan also collected loan from China.
Recently, a house of representatives panel expressed concern about a clause conceding Nigeria’s sovereignty to China in a loan agreement.
The clause, described as “lethal” by the panel, is in article 8(1) of the commercial loan agreement between Nigeria and Export-Import Bank of China.
Also speaking on the loan, Katch Ononuju, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while appearing as a guest on an AIT programme on July 30, accused Amaechi of perpetrating fraud under the guise of securing funds for railway projects and advised him to resign.
But in an interview with Channels TV on Tuesday, Amaechi said the call for his resignation was unnecessary as the loan being referred to by the PDP chieftain was actually taken during Jonathan’s tenure.
Amaechi also clarified that the immunity referred to in the loan agreement does not relate to the country’s sovereignty as a nation but to Nigeria’s immunity from arbitration.
“There’s a gentleman who went to AIT, and said ‘oh I should resign’ and I wonder which university he graduated from, certainly not University of Port Harcourt,” Amaechi said.
“He said I should resign. Resign from what? Are you saying those projects weren’t executed? Is there no Kaduna-Abuja railway?
“By the way, he said he is PDP; that loan was taken under President Goodluck Jonathan’s government.
“The loan he’s talking about — the Kaduna-Abuja railway — was signed by the President Goodluck Jonathan government.
“Don’t forget that we told the whole world when commissioning that project, that 80 percent of that project was executed by President Goodluck Jonathan’s government.
“The loan was taken by President Goodluck Jonathan’s government, and for that reason we had to name the train station and infrastructure in Agbor after President Goodluck Jonathan’s government for that laudable achievement.”
Meanwhile, a fact-check by TheCable confirms that while the Kaduna-Abuja railway project was conceived during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, it was stalled during the tenure of Umaru Yar’Adua due to “paucity of fund”, but construction began in 2011 when Jonathan was acting president.