The Federal Government yesterday released N72 billion counterpart funding for the Lagos-Ibadan mordernisation railway project.
Chinese partners are expected to add the other part.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who was at the Second Presidential Business Forum at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the funding was released to fast track the project.
The National Assembly is expected to approve the $30billion foreign loan request by the executive for rail projects across the country.
Amaechi said: “On the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan Railway, the Minister of Finance has been kind enough to release the counterpart funding in full.
“I think in the history of Nigeria this is first time that we are releasing counterpart funds in full so that there will be no delay since the Chinese loan appears to have been approved.
“The only thing we need to do is to plead with the National Assembly to approve the $30billion loan.
“If you don’t encourage the National Assembly to make that approval, then, the economy won’t be making the kind of progress we want it to make.
“So, for me here, I will enjoin to persuade the National Assembly to kindly make that approval because they are tied to projects.”
The project, which has been awarded to the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation and to be jointly funded by the Nigerian and Chinese governments, is scheduled to start next month and costs about $1.5billion (N458billon).