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Nigeria looking to mix of Chinese and European lending for rail projects

ABUJA, July 2 (Reuters) - Nigeria is negotiating a mix of loans from Chinese and European lenders to fund railway projects in the country, transportation minister Rotimi Amaechi said on Friday.

Amaechi said Standard Chartered had agreed to fund $3.02 billion for the ongoing Port Harcourt-to-Maiduguri railway project. He had previously told Bloomberg that the government was in talks with Standard Chartered Plc to replace earlier plans to get loans from Chinese banks for two rail projects.

But Amaechi said they had always been seeking funding from any source available.

“We are waiting for the Chinese for only Ibadan-to-Kano” railway, he said, adding, “If the Chinese don’t turn up in the next few months, why shouldn’t we approach the European banks to fund Ibadan to Kano? I will put that before the minister of finance.”

Standard Chartered declined to comment.

Amaechi also said they also expect Credit Suisse to fund the Kano-to-Maradi line, which will connect northern states Kano, Jigawa and Katsina. (Reporting by Felix Onuah; writing by Libby George; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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