President Muhammed Buhari on Monday asked the Ministry of Finance to provide explanations on the whereabouts of the foreign loans obtained for rail projects but diverted to other purposes under the watch of former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
The president directive followed an instance of the diversion of a substantial part of the loan of USD1.005 billion from the Chinese Exim Bank, meant for the construction of a standard gauge rail line linking Lagos and Kano States.
President Buhari, who was briefed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Alhaji Mohammed Bashar was informed that only $400 million was left of the loan.
“I hope that due process was followed before such diversions were carried out. Taking money from one project to another has to be done properly,” Buhari warned.
He expressed regret that government had, over the years, failed to meet its counterpart funding obligation on some projects, leading to such projects being left uncompleted or abandoned.
He added that there was a clear need to streamline, harmonize, and prioritize ongoing projects in the transportation sector.