President Muhammadu Buhari will today leave Nigeria for Johannesburg, South Africa to attend the Forum on China/Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
He will at the forum, which begins tomorrow, follow up with his last meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly Summit in November in New York, United States (U.S.).
Buhari had indicated to the Chinese leader at the New York meeting that he wanted China to resume stalled rail projects under new terms that would see the Asian country providing nearly all the financing required.
Of interest to the President is the coastal railway project stretching 1,402 kilometres linking Lagos with Calabar – a project that is expected to be financed with $12 billion Chinese loan and which will create about 200,000 jobs.
Another rail project that will be up for renegotiation is the $8.3 billion Lagos-Kano standard gauge modernisation project, of which only a segment, Kaduna-Abuja, has reached completion stage.
Buhari, according to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, is also expected to discuss ways of removing all obstacles in the way of the 3,050 megawatts (MW) Mambila Power Station, considered a strategic project which was conceived in 1982, but has not taken off.
The Chinese President had informed the President of his country’s willingness to finance the whole project through a special loan agreement.
The President, who will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema; Minister of Transportation, Chubuike Amaechi; and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, will return to Abuja on Saturday, December 5