China: The ‘New Bride’ on the Runway

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The dispute involving a Chinese construction firm, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, and AIC Limited, a concessionaire, over a parcel of land in Lagos is one of the lingering clashes that threaten planned reforms in the aviation sector

By MUYIWA LUCAS

The influence of China in Nigeria’s economy is now, no doubt, growing in leaps and bounds. An estimated $1.7 billion investment in different road contracts being built by Chinese firms across the country, and its demand for Nigeria’s crude oil which is expected to rise to 200,000 barrels per day by 2015, are indicative of the Communist country’s deepening influence in Africa’s second largest economy. Increasingly, China is spreading its wings and influence to Africa, especially for its oil and other natural resources, while offering loans to nations in the continent in the process.  

Such influence of China in Nigeria got a boost in July when President Goodluck Jonathan, on a state visit to the Asian country, signed a $1.1 billion loan for infrastructure development. The loan, according to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, minister of finance, is part of a $3 billion loan being offered Nigeria by China at interest rates of less than three per cent, which will be spent on projects covering roads, a light-rail line for Abuja, a hydropower plant, oil and gas infrastructure, airports, among others.

What she did not say, however, is that cost of those projects are never arrived at through competitive bidding, making nonsense of the low-interest rate at the end of the day, according to an official of a global financial institution.

Both countries signed five agreements, including a lending agreement, between China’s Import-Export Bank and the ministry of finance, for the expansion of the airport terminals and an economic and technical co-operation pact. Indeed, China has become Nigeria’s latest bride …

Source: TELL Magazine – News

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