NIGERIA: Why FG is Seeking $500m Loan for Aviation Sector – Oduah

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The Minister of Aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah, Tuesday stated that the $500 million loan being sought by the federal government from the Chinese government for the ministry, was for the  construction of four new international terminals in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano.

Oduah made this known in  a statement, signed by her Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Mr. Joe Obi, in Beijing, China.

Besides the loan,  Oduah added that government had also concluded the signing of  the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), to deliver the four new international airport terminals in a record time of 20 months.

The  Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Hope Uzodimma, in a remark, said President Goodluck Jonathan was committed to moving Nigeria's aviation sector  to the next level, adding that the National Assembly would give him all necessary support.

Meanwhile, the President of CCECC, Mr. Yuan Li, has said the quality of the work to be done at the airports would be of the highest international standard comparable to similar projects executed by the company in other parts of the world.

Li said this when the Nigerian delegation paid him a facility inspection visit at the company's corporate headquarters.

He said airport terminals' construction remain a special project to the company,  stressing that the company's imprimatur of unrivalled excellence would be brought to bear in the building of the terminals in Nigeria.

"CCECC is the biggest Chinese company doing business in Nigeria, with a local staff strength of about 20, 000 and an expatriate quota of 1,000 Chinese citizens." Li stated.

He expressed gratitude to Jonathan, and the government of Nigeria for the support given to the company, adding that CCECC wants to establish a special friendship between Nigeria and China.

Oduah, while responding, said she was eagerly looking forward to the signing of the agreement today and the completion of the projects in the next 18-20 months, adding that the desire to have the best for Nigerian airports informed the decision to work with a reputable, world class construction firm like CCECC.

The minister said she had no iota of doubt in her mind on either the quality of job to be delivered by CCECC or the completion time  since due diligence was conducted before government finally settled for CCECC.

When completed, the minister said the four new airports would take their rightful place in the world aviation map, and boost Nigeria's position as the natural hub for commercial aviation business on the African continent.

Also speaking, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Godsday Orubebe, expressed satisfaction that CCECC had been a very active firm in Nigeria, saying he would want to have the company in the East-West and the Oron-Calabar Road projects.

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