Rotimi Amaechi, Nigeria’s Minister of Transport says that the clauses on Nigeria’s Chinese loans for infrastructural development are international standard commitment clauses, citing they are regular clauses opened when a country goes into trade.
The Minister revealed this while on a National TV political talk show.
The Nigerian Senate called a hearing last week, asking the Minister to explain the clauses on Chinese financed infrastructure projects in Nigeria. The Minister argued that the probe into Nigeria’s use of foreign loans to finance infrastructure projects could negatively affect how foreign lenders percieve the country and also impact further financing for future projects.
“Nigeria is not Madagascar or Sri Lanka and has been keeping up with payment plans for the loan. “ No country has complained about Nigeria’s loan obligations,” Amaechi said.
He added that Nigeria has debt over revenue problems, “but that does not mean we have any point in time refused to pay our loans.”
Amaechi said that only a criminally minded person would have issues with the loan terms. “Only those who don’t want repay are worried about the clauses, if we repay our loans we won’t get arbitration,” he added.
The Minister also disclosed that the Ministry of Finance has repaid up to $98 million of the loans, adding, “those are standard international commitment clauses” and that no loan can be taken by the government without the approval of the National assembly.