The China EXIM Bank will grant Nigeria $1bn loan for railway projects across Nigeria.
Speaking in Abuja, yesterday, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, said that the fund would be utilised for the development of Lagos-Kano rail line and rail lines connecting the South and South-east parts of the country.
Enelamah said that infrastructure development has attracted the highest value of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) into the country.
The minister said that the federal government was negotiating 21st century Nigerian free trade agreements, with the goal of expanding market opportunities for Nigerian companies and looking into the ECOWAS Common External Tariff.
He revealed that the Export Expansion Grant (EEG), which was suspended in 2014 following allegations of widespread abuse and accumulation of significant liability on the Negotiable Duty Credit Certificate (NDCCs), would resume in 2017.
He said that the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment was undertaking a feasibility study for the development of six Special Economic Zones (SEZ’s) and working on how to secure fund in the Nigerian budget for the first development phase to be launched in 2017.
The minister said that the government intended to resume the scheme in 2017 because of its determination to expand the volume and value of Nigeria’s exports, diversify export products and improve global competiveness of Nigerian exporters.
He said that approved liability on the scheme for unused certificates, either in the custody of exporters or awaiting issuance in the federal ministry of finance, would be settled after the conduct of an audit to verify the actual amount due.
Source: <Daily Trust>