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ConnectNigeria_Lightrailway   On Monday, the Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala told an inspection team that the construction of the ongoing Abuja Airport terminal expansion project would be completed and the facility opened for use come December, 2014. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala equally reaffirmed that the $849 million ongoing Federal Capital Transport Authority (FCTA), Light Rail Project would also be completed in the third quarter of 2015. In an attempt to bring all airports to an international standard, the Federal Government had embarked on improving most of the nation’s airport terminals across the country through various remodeling and expansion works. Okonjo-Iweala led a team of journalists and officials from the FCTA, Ministry of Transport, accompanied by the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Gu Xiaojie for the inspection of the projects being handled by the Chinese construction firm—-CCECC. She said, ‘’We took a loan of $500 million from the Exim Bank of China representing the Chinese government in order to construct Modern Terminals in this country, this is something we need and we have four outstanding terminals for Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt in mind. The expansion works are ongoing, they are being financed from this fund from the Chinese government.’’ The Minister also explained that the government is similarly constructing the Enugu and Bayelsa terminals but from the government’s internal funding. Also commenting on the level of work already done by the Chinese company at the ongoing Abuja Light Rail Project put at a cost of $849 million, Okonjo-Iweala expressed great satisfaction at the various levels of work already achieved by the company. She noted: “My impression is very good if I must say, the work is proceeding well at least with the 30 percent completion, they are pushing. We told them that they must complete one out of the four terminals especially this one in Abuja by December this year. I am also satisfied with the level of work going on with the Abuja Light Rail project.’’ Speaking on the Abuja Light Rail Project, the Executive Secretary, Transportation Secretariat of the FCTA, Jonathan Iyoke, said that the scheme, when completed, would connect the whole of the city centre to the satellite towns. Gu Xiaojie also expressed satisfaction on the level of work so far done by the Chinese company and pledged to continue monitoring the progress of work to ensure that the jobs are efficiently delivered, to further promote the good mutual and long standing relationship presently existing between Nigeria and china.  

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This article was first published on 30th July 2014

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