Contrary to initial media reports, the Presidency on Saturday said President Muhammadu Buhari did not sign any loan deal with the Peoples Republic of China during his just-concluded one-week working visit to the country.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, gave the clarification in an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH.

Ahead of Buhari’s trip which started last Sunday, there were media reports that he would sign a $2bn loan deal with China during the visit as the Federal Government sought funds to finance the over N2tn budget deficit.

Reuters had reported that Adesina confirmed that loan agreement would be signed but he could not say how much until it was signed.

But the presidential spokesman told our correspondent on Saturday that there was no iota of truth in the report.

“There was no loan deal during the President’s visit to China. All that is coming are investments into Nigeria,” he stated.

At the conclusion of the visit on Friday, the Presidency had said the President’s trip yielded over $6bn additional investments for Nigeria.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists.

Shehu said the President believed that the agreements concluded with the Chinese during the visit would have a huge and positive impact on key sectors of the Nigerian economy, including power, solid minerals, agriculture, housing and rail transportation.

He said, “In the power sector, North South Power Company Limited and Sinohydro Corporation Limited signed an agreement valued at $478,657,941.28 for the construction of 300 Mega Watts solar power in Shiriro, Niger State.

“In the solid minerals sector, Granite and Marble Nigeria Limited and Shanghai Shibang signed an agreement valued at $55m for the construction and equipping of granite mining plant in Nigeria.

“A total of $1bn is to be invested in the development of a greenfield expressway for Abuja-Ibadan-Lagos under an agreement reached by the Infrastructure Bank and Sinohydro Corporation Limited.

“For the housing sector, both companies also sealed a $250m deal to develop an ultra modern 27-storeyed high rise complex and a $2.5bn agreement for the development of the Lagos Metro Rail Transit Red Line project.”

According to the presidential spokesman, other agreements announced and signed during the visit included $1bn for the establishment of a hi-tech industrial park in Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone in Igbesa, Ogun State.

He added that the Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone and CNG (Nigeria) Investment Limited also signed an agreement valued at $200m for the construction of two 500MT/day float gas facilities.

“An agreement valued at $363m for the establishment of a comprehensive farm and downstream industrial park in Kogi State was also announced at the Nigeria-China business forum.

“Other agreements undergoing negotiations include a $500m project for the provision of television broadcast equipment and a $25m facility for production of pre-paid smart meters between Mojec International Limited and Microstar Company Limited.

“About 100 Nigerian businesses and 300 Chinese firms participated in the Nigeria-China business forum, which took place a day after President Buhari began his visit to China,” Shehu added.

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