Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, says the decision by the House of Representatives to go public on the Sovereignty Immunity Clause in the Chinese loan has delayed the approval for the $5.3bn Ibadan-Kano standard gauge project.
Daily Trust reports that the House of Representatives and Amaechi were at daggers drawn last year over the sovereignty clause in the loan agreement with the China Exim Bank which funded the Abuja-Kaduna and Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge trains.
The lawmakers had queried the inclusion of the clause which gives China access to some national assets in case the Federal Government is unable to fulfill its repayment obligations but the Minister had warned that such discussion could make China have a rethink on the loan.
Speaking in an interview on Channels TV, Amaechi said the “selfishness” of some members of the House of Representatives delayed the approval of the loan by China as they began to ask more questions.
“That is where we are. The loan for Ibadan-Kano, up till now we have not gotten approval and as at the time that issue happened, we were at the verge of getting approval but they withdrew. So they were asking more questions.
“The other countries we have loan agreements with, they don’t usually ask for sovereignty clause because they trust you. They expect that you pay back. But the moment you brought it to the public, they are saying, ‘Oh you gave China an immunity clause, so you must also give us.’
‘I don’t know what those lawmakers want’